UNITED STATES: The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from NASA will launch for the first time on Monday, August 29, 2022, just before breakfast. It is now in Florida on the launch pad.
It is the first flight in a series that will put the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon’s surface by 2025.
The SLS is carrying NASA’s brand-new Orion spacecraft on a perilous 1.3-million-mile voyage beyond the Moon that will span 42 days, 3 hours, and 20 minutes as part of the Artemis-1 mission. On October 10, 2022, it will splashdown off San Diego.
This time, there won’t be any astronauts on board Orion because it’s only a trial run, but you shouldn’t miss the sights and sounds of the biggest rocket launch ever.
On August 29, 2022, between 8:33 and 10:33 a.m. EST, the unmanned autonomous Artemis-1 mission will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B. The next launch window is Friday, September 2, 2022, at noon, barring bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
NASA TV, which is available on YouTube, the NASA website, Facebook, Twitch, and in 4K on NASA’s UHD channel, will start covering the event at 6:30 a.m. EST.
Even though you’ll tune in to see the launch, check back later for live images of Earth from space and during Orion’s outbound journey to the Moon.
The precise time depends on the liftoff time, but if it occurs at the scheduled time of 8:33 a.m. EST, and liftoff will occur at 5:30 p.m. EST.
The SLS rocket
The SLS rocket, which stands 322 feet tall, will be the most potent launch vehicle ever since NASA’s final Saturn V “Moon rocket” placed the Skylab space station in Earth orbit in 1973. The SLS rocket has a thrust of 8.8 million pounds (3.9 million kg), making it the most potent rocket ever built. Though SpaceX’s Starship may soon surpass it, it is now the largest structure ever built.
Artemis-1, an unmanned flight test mission, will send NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the European Service Model (ESM), and the Space Launch System (SLS), the most potent rocket in the world, to the Moon.
The launch of the spacecraft and rocket will send Orion and the ESM into an elliptical orbit around the Moon, where they will pass within 62 miles of its surface and go 40,000 miles beyond it. This is the furthest distance ever travelled by an astronaut-built spacecraft.
Artemis-2, which is slated for 2024, will be a 10-day-shorter version of Artemis-1 and carry four people to test Orion’s life support systems. Before travelling 4,600 miles beyond the far side of the Moon, Artemis-2 will complete two orbits of the Earth. It will be the century’s first crewed lunar flyby.
Since Apollo 17 departed from the Moon in December 1972, astronauts have not set foot on the lunar surface until Artemis-3, which is scheduled to launch in 2025 or later.
A 30-day mission will begin with an Orion spacecraft carrying four astronauts performing a rendezvous with a developing Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, followed by the descent of one male and one female astronaut to the lunar surface near Shackleton Crater at the Moon’s South Pole in a SpaceX Starship spacecraft. In 6.5 days, the mission will require four spacewalks.
The Lunar Gateway’s habitation module will be constructed with assistance from more Artemis missions every year through 2030, which will also make three additional descents to the Moon’s surface.