The Space Launch System will return to its home at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida today after a successful test last month. The uncrewed Artemis I mission could be launched in late August or early September.
The rocket was moved out of the VAB and onto the launch pad 39B for the wet dress rehearsal. Final adjustments will be made when the rocket heads back inside. It takes several hours to move the rocket across the four mile distance from the launch pad to the building.
The return of the rocket to the building had been scheduled for Friday, July 1, but was pushed back one day because the path along which the crawler travels was not level. NASA said the inclined pathway must be level with an even distribution of the rocks that make up the crawlerway in order to support the load of the mobile launcher and rocket that it will carry.
The launch pad was empty at 4:12 a.m. It was supposed to arrive at the building later this morning. You can watch the rocket progress using the video embedded above or on the Kennedy Space Center newsroom website.
A liquid hydrogen leak was detected during the wet dress rehearsal and teams will replace a seal on the quick connect of the tail service mast umbilical.
The hope was that the rocket could be launched in August. NASA's senior exploration official Jim Free told Ars that they are working towards a launch window of August 23 to September 6 for the Artemis I launch.