Science

The historic Artemis I mission is just beginning its lunar journey

The historic Artemis I mission is just beginning its lunar journey

A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science newsletter Wonder Theory. To get it in your inbox, register for free here.



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Third time’s the charm and now NASA’s mega rocket has made history.

The The Artemis I mission launched on its journey to the Moon Wednesday. Creating a light show in the early morning skies over Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Space Launch System lifted the uncrewed Orion spacecraft high into the skies.

Years of delays were followed by recurring hydrogen leak problems and two hurricanes that slammed into the rocket’s home at the Kennedy Space Center. Another leak almost stood in the way of liftoff this week, but NASA’s red crew — a heroic team tasked with making real-world repairs to a fuel-laden rocket — swooped in at the 11th hour.

Artemis team members overcame the challenges thrown their way, and when the rocket blasted off, it felt like a moment that rekindled hopes for future research.

As Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s first female launch director, said: “The harder the climb, the better the view. Tonight we showed the Space Coast what a beautiful sight it is.”

Hours after Artemis I launched, the Orion spacecraft began sharing its impressive views from space.

The capsule’s cameras captured a breathtaking perspective of our planet. The images were reminiscent of those last seen 50 years ago, taken by Apollo 17 in 1972.

The Artemis I mission is moving forward on a 25.5-day journey that will circle the Moon and return to Earth on December 11. This Monday, the rocket will make its closest approach to the lunar surface. During its space journey, Orion is expected to break the distance record for a human-powered spacecraft set by Apollo 13.

Follow along upcoming stages of Orion’s lunar journey using CNN’s new interactive.

Many people tend to take running water for granted, assuming that when the faucet is turned on, it will always be there.

But this limited resource is a little more valuable than it seems. Water scarcity is already a problem for billions of people and is getting worse amid the climate crisis.

Taking certain measures to conserve water use with your kitchen faucet, toilet, washing machine and outside your home can have a positive impact.

Find more ideas on how to minimize your role in the climate crisis at A limited series of CNN’s Life, But Greener newsletters.

Wild chimpanzee Fiona (right) shows a leaf to her mother Sutherland (left) in Uganda's Kibale National Park.

In Uganda’s Kibale National Park, a wild chimpanzee named Fiona showed her mother, Sutherland, a leaf so they could share the experience together — and scientists caught the interaction on camera.

Fiona “trimmed the leaves,” or touched and manipulated the leaves beforehand, a common behavior that remains a mystery to the researchers. Fiona then showed the sheet to her mother.

“She seems to be showing it just for the sake of showing it. It’s like “look, look, this is great, isn’t it?” And that’s very human and something that we thought was quite unique to our species,” said Katie Slocombe, professor of psychology at the University of York, UK.

Captive chimpanzees have been observed pointing to things they want from their caretakers. But seeing social behavior in wild chimpanzees involving simple show-and-tell it can reveal more about how they communicate.

Imagine you are an ant just walking around on the forest floor as spores rain down from above.

The seemingly harmless spore shower is actually a parasitic fungus that takes control of the ant’s body and brain – effectively turning it into a zombie.

The infected ant climbs a tree, clings to a hanging leaf, and dies as the fungus consumes it. Then, like a scene from the movie “Alien,” the parasite bursts out of its host’s body and releases spores that will claim more unwitting ant prey.

But scientists have discovered a new plot twist in this horror story which can help save the ants from this zombie-like fate.

A newborn star is at the heart of a new James Webb Space Telescope image that looks like an hourglass.

An inspiring new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the gas and dust ejected from a chaotic newborn star. The material receding from the star is shaped into a cosmic hourglass.

Meanwhile, Webb uses his infrared vision to effectively peer back in time and see some of the most distant galaxies ever observed by a telescope.

The unusually bright galaxies flipped the script on what astronomers expected, and may change the way they understand the early days of the universe.

Need trivia to share with friends and family this Thanksgiving? Keep these stories under your hat:

— A meteorite that fell in the front yard of a family in England can explain where water on Earth comes from.

— A 600-year-old English coin found off the coast of Newfoundland, and historians are trying to trace the journey the rare artifact took to reach Canada.

— The earliest known evidence of cooking from 780,000 years ago shows our ancient human ancestors feasted on an extinct species of fish that reached 6.5 feet in length.

Speaking of celebrations, the Wonder Theory team is taking some time out for Thanksgiving. We will not have a new edition for you on Saturday, November 26. But you can bet we’ll be back to share all the space and science wonders again on December 3rd. Until then!

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