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The launch of NASA’s titanic SLS rocket slips toward summer 2022

Space rocket construction in a mammoth hangar.

Enlarge / The launch-vehicle stage adapter for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is integrated with the core stage in June 2021. (credit: NASA)

NASA said Wednesday that it is now targeting “mid-February” for an initial rollout of the Space Launch System rocket to the launch pad.

The space agency set the new date after engineers and technicians successfully removed a faulty engine controller from one of the four space shuttle main engines that power the massive rocket. An engine controller is basically a flight computer that communicates between the engine and the rocket; this one had failed communication tests in late November.

At present, NASA engineers, alongside contractor teams who have built various components of the rocket, are working to complete all remaining SLS preflight diagnostic tests and hardware close-outs prior to rolling the fully stacked rocket to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

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