CAPE CANAVERAL – After a series of disappointing launch scrubs, NASA’s Artemis 1 rocket has successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center. The mission serves as a test in the greater goal of returning astronauts to the Moon in 2025.
Artemis’s first two launch attempts were scrubbed due to varying issues. On August 29th a faulty reading caused the delay, and on September 3rd things were halted by a hydrogen leak during fueling. It finally went up at around 1:47 am on Wednesday.
The rocket is set to make two passes around the Moon before making its return transit to Earth, splashing down off the Pacific Coast of Central America. A similar rocket is planned to be launched in the coming years carrying human passengers.
The Artemis program is historic for several reasons. It’s the first passenger-accommodating craft that has captured full pictures of the Earth since 1972’s Apollo 17. The Orion spacecraft sat atop the Artemis rocket before separating in space. It carries crash dummies which will collect data that will prepare NASA to accommodate living, breathing astronauts. The total mission path will span 1.3 million miles, equivalent to over 52 trips around the Earth’s equator.
“Today was monumental for NASA, the United States, and the world,” said Jim Free, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development. “Our first Artemis mission is on its way to the Moon, and for many globally, a dream was realized today.”
“We’re truly in the golden age of spaceflight,” added NASA Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy. “It’s a testament to the incredible NASA team, and our industry and international partners who have worked tirelessly every step of the way.”