The first integrated Orion and Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle that will launch Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) will be put through a series of tests at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) by NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) processing teams beyond typical launch processing checkouts. Structural testing will be performed as major EM-1 hardware are joined for the first time in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and on the move out to Launch Pad 39B.
The EM-1 vehicle with its Mobile Launcher platform and umbilical tower will also make two trips to the pad, the first to run through a dress rehearsal of the launch countdown and perform first-time checkouts of the vehicle at the pad.
After returning to the VAB for inspections, late stow work, and final configurations, the vehicle will return to the pad for its first launch.
Processing and assembly
Processing the EM-1 hardware once it is turned over to EGS is divided between two teams. The Spacecraft and Offline Operations team processes Orion and SLS upper stage hardware, while the Integrated Operations team processes the SLS Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) and Core Stage hardware and assembles the whole vehicle on the Mobile Launcher (ML) in the Vehicle Assembly ...