NASA announced the launch of the Artemis I mission in July as the U.S. space agency celebrated 53 years of Apollo 11.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, has successfully launched its much-awaited lunar test mission Artemis I today. The gigantic Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket in history, carrying the Orion spacecraft lifted off from the Launch Complex 39B of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:47 a.m. EST (approximately 12:17 p.m. IST) today.
“The primary goal of Artemis I is to thoroughly test the integrated systems before crewed missions by operating the spacecraft in a deep space environment, testing Orion’s heat shield, and recovering the crew module after reentry, descent, and splashdown,” the U.S. space agency said in a blog.
The 322-foot (98-meter) SLS rocket is carrying the uncrewed Orion capsule on NASA’s test lunar mission that was successful after three failed launch attempts. The initial two attempts failed due to engine malfunction, while the mission was abandoned due to a hurricane on the third attempt. In a month-long mission, the spacecraft will not land on the moon but will orbit nearby before returning to Earth.
Elsewhere, NASA announced the launch of the Artemis I mission in July as the U.S. space agency celebrated 53 years of Apollo 11, the country’s first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. With a motley crew of mannequins and biological experiments in the Artemis 1 mission, the U.S. wants to build a sustained human presence on the Earth’s only natural satellite, which should see the touchdown of the first woman and first person of color in the coming few years.