COLUMBUS, GA (WRBL)-After many tests and setbacks, NASA has finally picked a target date for the Artemis-1 launch from Kennedy Space Center. The date, if all goes well of course, August 29th.
Beginning at 8:30 AM EDT, a two hour launch window will open, this is the period in which the spacecraft could launch if all systems remain a “go”. If Artemis-1 fails to take off during the window for various reasons, additional dates in September will be considered.
Artemis-1 is an unmanned mission that will test the Space-Launch-System rocket or SLS along with the Orion Capsule as it makes a four to six week journey to the moon and back to earth. This will be the first time that NASA will be able to test both the SLS and Orion for accuracy and safety while in space.
The Orion spacecraft will eventually carry humans to the moon and beyond but it’s the Space-Launch-System rocket or SLS that’s creating all the buzz.
Standing at 300 feet tall, the SLS will become the most powerful rocket in the world as it can reach its maximum atmospheric force within 2 minutes. Delivered in stages, it will exert over 8 million pounds of thrust, something no other rocket has done before.
This will be the first of what NASA calls “complex missions” that will eventually send humans to the moon and into deep space. The Artemis program has three phases that build off of the successful completion of the one before. With successful completion of Artemis-1, the next phase will be Artemis-II that will send a crew into the moons orbit and eventually Artemis-III that will land astronauts onto the moon no earlier than 2025.