The combined SLS-Orion spacecraft is due for blastoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on Monday (August 29), sending the uncrewed capsule around the Moon and back to Earth on a six-week test flight called Artemis I.
Scientists at NASA say the mission looks favorable for a launch window beginning at 0833 ET/1233GMT, barring weather disturbances or unforeseen technical difficulties.
Update Aug. 29: NASA Postpones Artemis I Moon Rocket Due to Engine Trouble
PREVIOUS REPORTING ON NASA’S ARTEMIS I MOON MISSION
- NASA’s Giant Artemis I Moon Rocket Debuts on Launchpad
- Mannequin Commander ‘Moonikin Campos’ to Be Launched Into Space on NASA’s First Artemis Mission
- Artemis launch will lead to ‘footprints on the moon dust’ then Mars journey: Astronaut
NASA’s Artemis program, named for the goddess who was Apollo’s twin sister in ancient Greek mythology, aims to return astronauts to the moon as early as 2025 and establish a long-term lunar colony as a steppingstone to even-more-ambitious future voyages sending people to Mars.
This mission is NASA’s first mission to the moon in 50 years.
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NASA test director Jeffrey Spaulding described the conditions prior to the scheduled lift-off:
” Bottom line is we look really good. No issues, no concerns or constraints from the lightning events at this point. Let’s see. So far, I did mention we powered up yesterday, later in the afternoon or last night, we did power up the RF systems on all of the vehicles on Orion on the core stage and the CPS did those checkouts and tests. Those all went really well. We finished those into the early hours of the morning this morning. We did also work our engine final preps on the core stage yesterday got through all of those and and again those finished early last night… This morning as well about 1:00 in the morning, we’ve done the battery charging on both Orion and the core stage. Those are complete. So that’s all going really well and all is planned and on schedule.”.
” We’ve looked ahead at the weather, we know we’re going to get something later this afternoon. We did have quite a bit of work planned on second shift tonight. We’re pulling some of that in to try to get that those events going on, some of the pad facility closeouts and and some of the configurations that we do on some water systems and elevators and some of those other things. So we are trying to be very proactive, looking ahead and evaluating those things and adjusting as required, knowing that we might get some some weather as we have the last few days.”
By NASA TV via Reuters. (Production: Kia Johnson)