NASA counting down to lift-off of its giant new Moon rocket, Artemis I

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The American space agency, NASA is counting down to the lift-off of its giant new Moon rocket, the Space Launch System(SLS).

According to media reports, the 32-story-tall, two-stage Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion crew capsule are timed to go up from the Kennedy Space Centre at 12:33 GMT today.

SLS is the most powerful vehicle ever developed by NASA, and will be the foundation of its Artemis project which aims to put people back on the lunar surface after a 50-year absence. As per reports, this spacecraft will loop around the Moon on a big arc before returning home to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean in six weeks’ time.

SLS will be pulling 39.1 mega newtons of thrust off the pad. It is 15 per cent more than the Saturn V rockets that sent the Apollo astronauts on their way to the Moon in the 1960s and 70s. If the countdown clock is halted for any reason, NASA has set September 2 and September 5 as backup launch dates.

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