Throughout the 25-day mission, the Orion spacecraft will travel 280,000 miles from Earth and 40,000 miles beyond the far side of the moon.
On Wednesday, NASA launched the Artemis I mission after two failed attempts, sending the agency's mega Moon rocket and integrated Orion spacecraft on a journey around the moon.
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The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft lifted off Wednesday at 1:47 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (0647 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following the launch, NASA confirmed the solid rocket boosters' separation. The service module fairing and launch abort system have successfully separated from the Orion spacecraft.
The SLS's core stage main engine cutoff was complete. The core stage has separated from the interim cryogenic propulsion stage and Orion spacecraft. Later Orion's solar arrays completed their deployment.
Throughout the 25-day mission, the Orion spacecraft will travel 280,000 miles from Earth and 40,000 miles beyond the far side of the moon. Orion will stay in space longer than any human spacecraft has without docking to a space station.
When we go, we go together.— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) November 16, 2022
The #Artemis team wants to thank everyone who helped us along the way toward the first launch of the @NASA_SLS rocket and @NASA_Orion. pic.twitter.com/9dBSBzQ6wI
The spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on Dec. 11 and splash down off the coast of San Diego, California.
It is the third launch attempt of the Artemis I lunar mission after NASA scrubbed its first launch attempt on Aug. 29 due to an issue with an engine bleed and called off its second launch attempt on Sept. 3 due to a leak issue.
The Artemis I flight test is an uncrewed mission around the moon that will pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of NASA's Artemis lunar program.
The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion's systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown and recovery before the first flight with crew on Artemis II.
#China launched the second of three modules to complete its new space station. The space module is 18 meters long and weighs 22 tons and is also equipped with different areas for scientific experiments pic.twitter.com/1vZaAm5M6s— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 27, 2022