December 7, 2022

NASA is about to launch its biggest rocket since the famous Saturn V took Apollo astronauts to the moon. The rocket, known as the Space Launch System, will send a capsule, called Orion, on an excursion around the Moon. Uncrewed this time, there will be astronauts on board for subsequent missions, assuming all goes to plan.

The agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is set to lift off from Pad 39B here at Kennedy Space Center on Monday on Artemis 1, a mission that will send an Orion spacecraft on a six-week, uncrewed trip to lunar orbit and back.

NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone to send astronauts to Mars. During Artemis I, Orion will travel from Earth to beyond the far side of the Moon. Liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is currently targeted for 8:33 a.m. EDT ( 12:33 UTC ) Monday, August 29 2022.

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