Launch Spotlight: Artemis 1 – NASA set to launch the Orion capsule to the Moon

SLS at Sunrise

NASA is set to launch the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the first time from LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 29, 2022, with the two-hour launch window opening at 8:33 a.m. EDT. This launch will carry the Orion capsule on the Artemis 1 mission to a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon for a full, uncrewed test.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: August 29, 2022 @ 8:33 a.m. EDT

Payload: Orion capsule and 10 CubeSats

Rocket: Space Launch System Block 1

Launch Pad: LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Destination: Distant retrograde orbit around the Moon

Landing Site: The launch vehicle is expendable, the Orion capsule will splashdown off the coast of San Diego in the Pacific Ocean


The Mission

NASA’s maiden launch of the Space Launch System will carry an Orion spacecraft around the Moon and back to validate the launch and life support systems. If successful, this mission will put NASA on a path to return humanity to the Moon, this time to stay, landing the first woman and person of color on another celestial body.


What is the Space Launch System?

SLS represents a bold new vision for NASA’s human spaceflight program. In order to make a new generation – the Artemis Generation – of crewed missions to the Moon possible, the SLS rocket uses proven propulsion systems consisting of solid rocket boosters and liquid-fuel RS-25 engines mated to a new central core stage. SLS uses larger solid rocket boosters than the space shuttles and liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen-fed RS-25 engines operating at a higher thrust level and with new controllers. The core stage, an all-new development consisting of propellant tanks, avionics, and related equipment, houses the four RS-25s and provides attach points for the boosters. Above the core stage, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) provides in-space propulsion. The launch vehicle stage adapter partially encloses the ICPS and changes the diameter of the rocket. The Orion stage adapter, located between SLS and the Orion crew vehicle, contains CubeSat payloads for the Artemis I mission and connects the rocket to the Orion spacecraft.


The Weather

August 29

  • 70% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
    • Surface Electric Field
    • Flight Through Rain
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

Read the full forecast here

September 2

  • TBA% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • TBA
  • Risk(s):
    • TBA

Last Updated: August 25, 9:50 a.m.


Where to watch?

NASA will be hosting the official livestream starting at 12:00 a.m. EDT on August 29, eight hours before the start of the launch window. Full coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT. This will also be the first 4K launch stream in NASA TV history.

Featured Image: SLS Sunrise (August 19, 2022) – Jared Locke for SpaceExplored.com

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