NASA began rolling out its Space Launch System rocket to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday night, ahead of its premiere flight later this month.
The uncrewed test flight is part of the plan to return man to the moon.
NASA live-streamed the rollout of the Artemis I Moon rocket, the largest ever built by NASA, on Launch Pad 39B. The movement was expected to start by 9 p.m. EDT but did not begin until 10 p.m. following a delay.
NASA is targeting Aug. 29 for the launch of the rocket.
"Over the weekend, the team completed testing of the flight termination system, which marked the final major activity prior to closing out the rocket and retracting the final access platforms in the VAB," NASA said in a statement.
The flight termination system has given the agency problems in the leadup to the launch. The system is meant to destroy the rocket in the event of an emergency.
The rollout is occurring two days earlier than originally planned. It represents the final prelaunch test before the scheduled launch.
The test flight will remain in space for 42 days before returning to Earth.
"#Artemis I won't just be the first integrated flight test of @NASA_SLS and @NASA_Orion - the mission will also present an opportunity to fly lunar science payloads to the Moon," NASA wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
The 322-foot SLS rocket and its Orion capsule will take several hours to reach the launch pad. The live stream started at 3 p.m. EDT on the space center's YouTube channel.
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Helga and Zohar are ready for their flight around the Moon
Cologne, Germany (SPX) Aug 11, 2022
Three mannequins, a beagle and a sheep fly around the Moon in a giant rocket ... extraordinary, isn't it? This special crew is part of NASA's Artemis I mission, scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 29 August 2022. On board are three mannequins, Helga and Zohar, two identical model females from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), and NASA's Commander Moonikin Campos. They will test the spacecraft's systems and collect data for future ... read more