For the first time in 50 years, NASA On Monday, he plans to launch the first rocket that can transport humans to and from the moon.
The giant space launch system The SLS rocket is scheduled to lift off from NASA’s Cape Canaveral at 8.33 a.m. EDT (1.33 p.m. UK time) aboard an unmanned Orion spacecraft designed to carry up to six astronauts to the moon and beyond.
The 1.3-mile Artemis I test mission — which is set to last 42 days — aims to take the Orion rover 40,000 miles from the far side of the moon, departing from the same facility that organized the Apollo lunar missions half a century ago.
NASA space The Intermediate Shuttle program launched manned Earth-orbiting missions relatively close to outer space before it stopped in 2011. Since then private US space companies such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have carried out similar missions to the shuttle program. But Artemis I’s mission is to begin telling NASA whether the moon could serve as a springboard to eventually send astronauts to Mars, which would bring science fiction reality to life.
US taxpayers are expected to pay $93 billion to fund Artemis. But in the days leading up to Monday’s launch, NASA administrators insisted Americans would find the cost justified.
“This is the Artemis generation now,” NASA Administrator and former astronaut Bill Nelson said recently. “We were in the Apollo generation. This is a new generation. This is a new type of astronaut.”
At the first appearance on Monday, the only “crew members” aboard Orion were models meant to allow NASA to assess next-generation spacesuits and radiation levels — as well as a soft Snoopy meant to illustrate zero gravity by floating around the capsule.
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