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NASA moving massive SLS moon rocket out to launch pad ahead of schedule

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NASA's SLS rocket rolls back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida last month after testing. The booster and the Orion spacecraft will undergo final preparations for its maiden launch starting this week. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/ef79dc9909e62f8231270d5928150f8b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
NASA's SLS rocket rolls back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida last month after testing. The booster and the Orion spacecraft will undergo final preparations for its maiden launch starting this week. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- NASA announced Monday that it will roll out its Artemis I Moon rocket on Tuesday evening, which is two days earlier than originally planned.

Tuesday's planned rollout represents the final prelaunch test before the scheduled launch on Aug. 29. The uncrewed test flight will remain in space for 42 days before returning to Earth.

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Rick LaBrode, the lead flight director for Artemis I, said that the lead up to the launch would consist of a lot of anticipation.

"This is more exciting than really anything I've ever been a part of," Labrode said, according to Yahoo News. "I'm going to be so excited. I won't be able to sleep too much, I'm sure of that."

Artemis I, will be the first launch of the Space Launch System rocket, which is the most powerful rocket in the world. The current plan is for astronauts to make the same trip in 2024 on Artemis II, and then once again set foot on the moon in 2025 aboard Artemis III.

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While Artemis I remains in space, a dozen NASA personnel will be stationed in Mission Control 24 hours a day to monitor the rocket.

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However, even though the launch of Artemis marks a momentous occasion for Americans to finally return to the moon, it is not the final destination, according to Reid Wiseman, chief astronaut at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"When we think about Artemis, we focus a lot on the moon," Wiseman said. "But I just want everybody in the room and everybody watching to remember our sights are not set on the moon. Our sights are set clearly on Mars."

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