June 19, 2024

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NASA begins countdown to launch of Artemis moon rocket

NASA begins countdown to launch of Artemis moon rocket

Countdown to NASA Artemis I The launch is underway for an expected takeoff from the Florida space coast on Wednesday, although damage caused during Hurricane Nicole could delay the rocket’s flight a little longer.

He also made Hurricane Nicole land in Florida Last Thursday, the Associated Press reported that high winds caused a 10-foot section of the dam to peel off near the crew capsule atop the rocket.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – SEPTEMBER 02: NASA’s Artemis I rocket sits on Launch Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 02, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. His first attempt Artemis I was cleared after a problem was found on one of the rocks (Photo by Kevin Deitch/Getty Images)/Getty Images

This is the first test flight of the 322-foot rocket, which is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday — the crew capsule will not be operated by astronauts on this flight, but test dummies will occupy the space.

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Mission managers fear that the peeled dam, though narrow, could damage the missile if it breaks. They are expected to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the launch on Monday night, according to the Associated Press.

“Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence on the Moon for decades to come,” NASA said on its website. “The primary objectives of Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion systems in a spaceflight environment and to ensure safe return, landing, splash, and recovery prior to first flight with crew on Artemis II.”

Over the course of 25 days, 11 hours and 36 minutes, the spacecraft will travel 1.3 million miles, and when it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, it is expected to travel at 24,500 miles per hour, or Mach 32, before blasting off. December 11.

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While in space, NASA said on its site, the spacecraft will orbit Earth and deploy solar arrays and a temporary cryogenic thrust stage, or ICPS, to get enough thrust to leave the planet’s orbit and travel to the Moon.

It will take several days to reach the moon, but once it does, it will fly 62 miles above the lunar surface and use the force of gravity to propel the Orion spacecraft about 40,000 miles from the moon into orbit.

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket

A NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft is seen aboard the launch pad at Launch Pad 39B as teams configure systems to return to the Vehicle Assembly Building, Monday, September 26, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)/Fox News)

It then orbits the Moon for six days before returning to Earth. Once the spacecraft returns, it is expected to land off the coast of Baja, California.

The Associated Press reports that the month-long, $4 billion mission has been postponed since August, due to a fuel leak and Hurricane Ian.

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NASA moved the rocket into its hangar during Hurricane Ian, but it remained on the launch pad for Hurricane Nicole.

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The last time NASA sent astronauts to the Moon was during the last Apollo mission in December 1972.

NASA Moon Rover

NASA is using this compact lunar rover prototype to learn more about the limitations of current technology to help build a newer version for future Artemis missions. (Fox/Fox News)