Fifty-three years after the historic Apollo mission, NASA is all set to send astronauts to the Moon once again with the launch of its Artemis I on August 29. The combined SLS-Orion spacecraft will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral to send an uncrewed capsule around the Moon and back to Earth on a six-week test flight called Artemis I.
Following separation from the rocket‘s upper stage at more than 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from Earth, Orion‘s thrusters will send the capsule on its outbound course, bringing it close to 60 miles or 100 km close to the lunar surface before travelling roughly 40,000 miles (64,400 km) beyond the moon and back to Earth. The capsule is due to make a Pacific Ocean splashdown on October 10.
During Artemis I mission, Orion will travel more than 40,000 miles beyond the Moon in a flight test with the SLS Rocket.
Orion will carry a stimulated crew comprising one male and two female mannequins fitted with sensors to measure radiation levels that a real-life crew would encounter. NASA plans to land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon, through its Artemis Mission.
The journey intends to put SLS Vehicle through a rigorous test before it is considered ready to carry astronauts.
How and where to watch?
Artemis I Launch Schedule
NASA will begin the broadcast of the launch while loading propellant into the SLS at 9.30am IST on August 29, Monday. Following the launch around 6:03pm IST, the space agency will share mission updates with its top officials including Bill Nelson, Artemis Mission Manager Mike Sarafin and other important Artemis officials. Early on August 30, the live stream will switch to coverage of Orion’s outbound trajectory.