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NASA's Artemis I launch: Everything you need to know

NASA Artemis Rocket Test
Posted at 3:04 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 11:55:58-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On Saturday, Sept. 3, NASA hopes to take a big step forward to getting man back on the moon with the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket.

ABC Action News is bringing you everything you need to know about the launch and will have Forrest Saunders live from Cape Canaveral.


What is Artemis I?

Artemis I is a test of NASA's deep space exploration systems, including the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The program was named after Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology in an attempt to pay homage to its earlier predecessor.

NASA hopes to break records with Artemis I. The flight without a crew will travel almost 300,000 miles from earth and thousands of miles beyond the moon. This will be the furthest a spacecraft built for humans has gone. Additionally, NASA plans for Orion's mission to take place over the course of four to six weeks, which will be the longest a ship for astronauts has stayed in space without docking to a station.

Why is it important?

If all goes well during their first test flight, NASA could be inviting astronauts to climb aboard as early as 2023 to travel through space. It could also re-establish NASA and help solidify the Space Coast as the premier space launch area in the United States along with providing another big shot in the arm for Florida tourism.

Where is the launch?

Artemis I will take off from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center. There will be three designated viewing areas for guests featuring live commentary and large screens for video coverage.

What time should I arrive?

Artemis I is expected to launch at 2:17 p.m. on Sept. 3, which will be a two-hour launch window.

How long is the mission?

  • Launch date: Sept. 3, 2022
  • Mission duration: 42 days, 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Total distance traveled: 1.3 miIlion miles
  • Re-entry speed: 24,500 mph (Mach 32)

The Space Launch System Rocket by the numbers:

  • Height— 322 feet
  • Mass at Liftoff — 5.75 million pounds
  • Thrust at Liftoff — 8.8 million pounds
  • Payload to the moon — 59,000 pounds

The Orion Spacecraft by the numbers:

  • Crew and Service module height — 26 feet
  • Pressurized volume — 690.6 ft3
  • Mass to the moon — 53,000 pounds
  • Return mass at landing — 18,200 pounds

How large of a project is Artemis I?

Businesses and agencies from all over the United States and the world have played a part in getting Artemis I this close to the launch. NASA created a map showing just how massive of a scale the project has been ahead of its first launch.