Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Artemis launches

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The historic Artemis I mission took flight in the early hours of Wednesday morning, kicking off a journey that will send an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon, paving the way for NASA to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in half a century. The 322-foot-tall Space Launch System (SLS) lit its engines at 1:47 a.m. ET. It emitted up to 9 million pounds of thrust to haul itself off the launchpad. Atop the rocket was the Orion spacecraft, which broke away from the rocket after reaching space. Orion is designed to carry humans, but its passengers for this test mission are mannequins collecting vital data to help future live crews. Orion will come within about 60 miles of the lunar surface during its close flyby next week. The white, bell-shaped capsule has embarked on a 25-day test flight that will take it around the moon and back, an approximately 1.2-million-mile trip.(Source: multiple, including CNN, NPR, 11/16/22) Gulf Coast note: The SLS and Orion were built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the engines that launched the SLS were tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.