NASA’s Artemis Program: Next Checkpoint

artemis moon program

NASA’s Artemis program is getting another checkpoint, as the Artemis 1 moon rocket will return to the launch pad early Friday morning (Nov. 4). You can watch the slow-motion action live. The Artemis 1 stack, a massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket atop an Orion spacecraft, is set to leave the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.

Artemis 1 will travel to KSC’s Pad 39B, which will serve as the mission’s launch pad. The mission is also scheduled to launch on November 14. The 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) journey atop NASA’s massive crawler transporter-2 vehicle is expected to take about 10 hours.

If previous Artemis 1 rollouts are any indication, NASA will Livestream some of this long journey.

NASA’s Artemis 1 program will make her fourth trip from the VAB to Pad 39A. The rocket traveled to the site in March and June to conduct prelaunch fueling tests, then returned in mid-August for an attempted liftoff.

Earlier to this, glitches thwarted planned launch attempts in late August and early September, prompting NASA to return Artemis 1 to the VAB in late September to avoid Hurricane Ian.

Mission team members used their most recent stay in the VAB to perform minor repairs and maintenance, as well as a series of tests to ensure that Artemis 1 is ready to fly.

The first mission in NASA’s Artemis program, which also aims to establish a permanent, sustainable human presence on and around the moon by the late 2020s, is Artemis 1. The powerful spacecraft of NASA’s Artemis program can be at a maximum distance of 280,000 miles (450,600 kilometers) from home.

Artemis 1 will be the SLS’s first flight and Orion’s second. It will send the unmanned capsule on a month-long shakeout cruise to and from lunar orbit. If everything goes as planned, Artemis 2 will send astronauts around the moon in 2024, and Artemis 3 will land near the lunar south pole a year or two later.

  • November 3, 2022
Universe & Existence