NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar rocket will launch on November 16
2 a.m. ET update: NASA successfully launched the Artemis 1 lunar mission on the first Space Launch System rocket at 1:47 a.m. EST (0647 GMT) with stunning success. Read our full Artemis 1 launch story. You can also see amazing pictures from the launch of Artemis 1on first images from the Orion spacecraft and learn what’s next for Artemis 1 on its 25-day journey to the moon.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The countdown has begun for the launch of NASA’s beleaguered lunar mission Artemis 1.
Despite some concerns about the damage, $4.1 billion Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle and Orion spacecraft experienced due to Hurricane NicoleNASA is moving forward with its current launch attempt. Artemis 1 is currently counting down to a two-hour launch window that begins Wednesday (Nov. 16) at 1:04 a.m. EST (0604 GMT). You can watch on go live online here on Space.com courtesy of NASA.
The live Artemis 1 countdown and launch event will be broadcast on Space.com courtesy of NASA Television. NASA mobile app (opens in new tab)and the agency’s official website (opens in new tab). Broadcast of pre-launch activities begins at 15:30 EST (2030 GMT) when the agency begins Space Launch Systemcryogenic refueling process.
Artemis 1 was originally scheduled to launch in late August, but fuel problems caused a month-long delay. Then came Hurricane Ian, which caused further delays as NASA moved the Artemis 1 SLS stack from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to the shelter of the massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). After it is rolled to the pad once again on November 4 the SLS had to deal with Hurricane Nicole which expose the vehicle to strong winds until it weakened to a tropical storm shortly after landfall.
Despite the fact that the SLS car and Orion spacecraft sustained minor damage during Hurricane Nicole, NASA officials are confident in their decision to pursue the Nov. 16 launch attempt. “There is no change in our plan to try to launch on the 16th,” Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager at NASA headquarters in Washington, said during a media teleconference Monday (Nov. 14) after performing analyzes of the damage.
One of the main areas of concern is a thin insulating layer known as RTV that lines a small groove surrounding the Orion spacecraft to prevent unwanted airflow and heating during flight. Some of the RTV was torn off by Nicole’s winds, and there are now concerns that more could shake off during liftoff and pose a debris hazard to the SLS.
(opens in new tab)
The Artemis 1 mission team is analyzing the risks associated with the damaged RTV, while the massive countdown timer here at KSC continues to tick down to the November 16 launch window.
“The unanimous recommendation for the team was that we are in a good position to move forward and continue the launch countdown,” Jeremy Parsons, deputy manager of NASA’s Research Ground Systems Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said during the media teleconference on Monday (November 14).
Artemis 1 will be the first trip for the SLS and the second flight for the Orion capsule after a test flight atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket in 2014. If all goes according to plan, the mission will be the first in NASA’s new lunar exploration program, which will see astronauts orbit the moon with the launch of a crewed Artemis 2 in 2024 and will put humans back on the moon near lunar south pole with Artemis 3 in 2025 or 2026.
Artemis 1 will last nearly 26 days when it is launched, ending with the Orion capsule splashing into the Pacific Ocean after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at 25,000 mph (40,200 km/h).
#NASAs #Artemis #lunar #rocket #launch #November