NASA will send its colossal Space Launch System into space for the first time on August 29 for the Artemis I mission around the moon. See launch coverage here
26 Aug 2022
updated: NASA missed the August 29 launch window due to a problem with one of the SLS’s four engines. The next release window is September 2. Full story here.
The eyes of the world are on Cape Canaveral, Florida, where NASA is about to launch its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket into space for the first time.
SLS is the most powerful rocket ever built. It has faced numerous delays since the project began in 2011, but it has finally reached the launch pad and is ready to take off. Their mission, called Artemis I, will last 42 days and is the start of NASA’s program to send humans back to the moon’s surface.
Stacked on top of the SLS rocket is the Orion capsule, which will separate from the rocket core itself about 8 minutes and 30 seconds after launch and continue to orbit the Moon. The capsule is designed to carry crew, but for this first test flight it will only carry dummies designed to measure the forces and radiation that crew members would experience during the mission.
When is the launch?
Artemis I is scheduled to launch on August 29 between 8:33am and 10:33am EDT (between 1:33pm and 3:33pm BST). A live stream of the launch will be available on this page above. If any issues delay the mission, there are backup launch dates of September 2 and 5.
If all goes well with Artemis I, the Artemis II mission planned for 2024 will be the first manned flight of SLS and Orion. That flight is planned to last only about 10 days, taking a crew of four astronauts on a flight past the moon but without landing. Artemis III, scheduled for 2025, is planned to be NASA’s return to the moon, the first manned lunar landing since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. After that, the Artemis program is expected to continue with the delivery of a space station. Moon call. Gateway in orbit around the moon.
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