NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket looks spectacular in these amazing photos

NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion capsule atop looks stunning in this sunrise shot taken by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls.
NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion capsule atop looks stunning in this sunrise shot taken by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls. (Image credit: Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls))
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Update, 11:28 a.m. EDT: The Artemis 1 mission has been scrubbed due to a fuel leak. The next possible opportunity is Monday (Sept. 5).


NASA's Space Launch System rocket has made for an awe inspiring photography object as it has been waiting on a launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its second attempt to lift off for the milestone Artemis 1 mission.

A flurry of NASA photographers captured the imposing 322-foot-tall (98 meters) Space Launch System in the days after the scrapped first launch attempt on Monday (Aug.29). NASA called off the Monday launch shortly before lift-off due to an engine cooling issue, which was later traced to a faulty sensor.

NASA engineers cleared the moon exploration rocket for a second go today. If all goes well, the rocket, with an uncrewed Orion space capsule atop, will blast off Launch Pad 39B at 2:17 p.m. EDT (1817 GMT) for a 37-day lunar test trip. You can watch it launch live online starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT).

 Related: NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission: Live updates

The moon rocket looks fascinating in this black and white infrared image as it sits on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA photographer Bill Ingalls captured this image on Friday (Sept. 2), one day before the rocket's second launch attempt.  (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

This dawn image of NASA's moon rocket was taken on Thursday (Sept.1) by NASA photographer Joel Kowsky.  (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA's Space Launch System rocket at dawn on Thursday (Sept.1), waiting on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for its second launch attempt. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket with the Orion spacecraft atop illuminated by spotlights  after its scrapped lift-off attempt on Monday (Aug.29). (Image credit: NASA/Keegan Barber)

A stunning sunrise view of NASA's Space Launch System moon rocket three days before its second attempt to launch for the groundbreaking Artemis 1 mission.  (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Artemis 1 mission will demonstrate that crucial technologies for future human trips to the moon work as expected. NASA currently plans to return humans to the moon in 2024 with the Artemis 2 mission, and hopes for a lunar landing a year after that with Artemis 3

Editor's note: Follow our Artemis 1 mission live updates page for the latest on Artemis 1 mission news. Visit Space.com for live webcast.

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Tereza Pultarova
Senior Writer

Tereza is a London-based science and technology journalist, aspiring fiction writer and amateur gymnast. Originally from Prague, the Czech Republic, she spent the first seven years of her career working as a reporter, script-writer and presenter for various TV programmes of the Czech Public Service Television. She later took a career break to pursue further education and added a Master's in Science from the International Space University, France, to her Bachelor's in Journalism and Master's in Cultural Anthropology from Prague's Charles University. She worked as a reporter at the Engineering and Technology magazine, freelanced for a range of publications including Live Science, Space.com, Professional Engineering, Via Satellite and Space News and served as a maternity cover science editor at the European Space Agency.