NASA: Watch the CBS Reports documentary “Artemis: America’s New Moonshot” in the video player above, or stream it on the CBS News app Sunday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. & 2 a.m. ET.
Five decades after the final flight of NASA’s legendary Saturn 5 moon rocket, the U.S. space agency is poised to launch its most powerful rocket yet Monday for a critical, long-overdue test flight, sending an unpiloted Orion crew capsule on a 42-day voyage around the moon.
Running years behind schedule and billions over budget, the first Space Launch System — SLS — rocket is finally ready for blastoff from pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, the opening of a two-hour window. Forecasters are predicting a 70% chance of good weather.
NASA, and Boeing target February for the first crew flight on Starliner spacecraft
Backup launch opportunities are available on September 2 and 5 based on the planned trajectory and the ever-changing positions of the Earth and moon. After that, the flight likely would slip into October.
Cobbled together from left-over space shuttle components, a new core stage, and a modified upper stage borrowed from another rocket, the SLS rocket stands 322 feet tall and will weigh 5.75 million pounds after 750,000 gallons of supercold liquid oxygen and hydrogen rocket fuel are pumped aboard early Monday. (More details in NASA’s SLS Reference Guide.)
At liftoff, the SLS will generate a ground-shaking 8.8 million pounds of thrust from four shuttle-era hydrogen-fueled engines and twin solid rocket boosters packed with 25% more propellant than their shuttle predecessors, providing a breathtaking spectacle for thousands of spaceport workers, area residents, and tourists.
Moonshot: NASA prepares to return to lunar glory with Artemis test flight
“I’m afraid that people think it’s routine,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told CBS News. “But when those candles light off, it’s anything but routine. It is a high-wire act all the way up. … This is a big deal. And it is beautiful. And it is a monster! The size just overwhelms you.”
The primary goal of the Artemis 1 mission is to send Orion to orbit around the moon and in the process, set up a 25,000-mph plunge back into Earth’s atmosphere on October 10. The top priority of the mission is to make sure the capsule’s 16.5-foot-wide heat shield can protect returning astronauts from the 5,000-degree inferno of re-entry on a future flight.
“This is a test flight. It’s not without risk,” Bob Cabana, a former shuttle commander and now a NASA associate administrator, said of the first SLS flight. “We have analyzed the risk as best we can and we’ve mitigated it as best we can. But we are stressing Orion beyond what it was designed for in preparation for sending it to the moon with a crew.
Artemis I Launch Will Test NASA’s Mission to Return Humans to the Moon
“And we want to make sure it works perfectly when we do that and that we understand all the risks,” he said. “We’re going to learn a lot from this test flight.”
Returning Americans to the moon
If the unpiloted Artemis 1 test flight goes well, NASA plans to launch four astronauts atop the second SLS rocket for an around-the-moon shakedown flight in 2024 — Artemis 2 — before the first woman and the first person of color touch down near the moon’s south pole in 2025 or 2026.
After that, NASA intends to launch a steady stream of Artemis moon missions, sending astronauts to the south polar region once every year or so for research and to search for ice deposits in permanently shadowed craters, a resource future crews could convert into rocket fuel, air, and water.
NASA astronaut ready for Soyuz flight to ISS
But first, Artemis astronauts and spacecraft have to get there. And that requires a rocket capable of boosting the men, women, and machines out of Earth’s gravitational clutches and across the 240,000-mile gulf to the moon with sufficient fuel, supplies, and equipment to mount a meaningful mission and get the crew safely home when it’s over.
“She is an incredible rocket,” Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s first female launch director, told CBS News. “She brings a whole new capability to our nation’s space program, a new heavy lift capability for deep space exploration.
“It’s going to change how we explore. It’s going to return our nation to the moon, and it is going to pave the way for our next steps as we prepare to go someplace like Mars, and even destinations beyond.”
https://www.facebook.com › NASA
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 24769329 likes · 374166 talking about this. Explore the universe and discover our home planet
https://www.instagram.com › nasa
Quick Read — Exploring the universe and our home planet. nasa.gov. Wallpapers’s profile picture. Wallpapers. Missions’s profile picture. Missions. 3,583 posts.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the US federal government responsible for the civil space program,
Preceding agency: National Advisory Committ
Employees: 17,952 (2022)
Motto: For the Benefit of All
Formed: July 29, 1958; 64 years ago
https://www.youtube.com › nasa
Quick Read — Direct from America’s space program to YouTube, watch NASA TV live streaming here to get the latest from our exploration of the universe and learn how we
https://twitter.com › nasa
NOW: NASA #Artemis and business leaders discuss how collaboration with industry helps us prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and beyond.
https://soundcloud.com › NASA
Play NASA and discover followers on SoundCloud | Stream tracks, albums, playlists on desktop and mobile.
https://play.google.com › store › apps › details › id=go
Quick Read — Come explore with NASA and discover the latest images, videos, mission information, news, feature stories, tweets, NASA TV and featured content with the
Rating: 4.5 · 112,490 votes · Free · Android · Educational
https://www.cbsnews.com › news › nasa-moon-rocket-a
1 day ago — Five decades after the final flight of NASA’s legendary Saturn 5 moon After that, NASA intends to launch a steady stream of Artemis moon
https://www.linkedin.com › company › nasa
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration | 6088266 followers on LinkedIn. Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official
https://unsplash.com › @nasa
Quick Read — See 73 of the best free to download photos, images, and wallpapers by NASA on Unsplash.
Quick Read — NASA Artemis I Special Launch Event. NASA … NASA’s Artemis will put the next generation of bootprints on the Moon. Special events and interactive
Banking services nationwide, loans, mortgages, credit cards, checking, mobile banking and more. Discover more about NASA FCU.
Quick Read — Space Center Houston, nonprofit gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center and Houston’s first Smithsonian Affiliate museum, inspires wonder in space exploration.
This is not a NASA website. You might learn something. It’s YOUR space agency. Get involved. Take it back. Make it work – for you.