Highlights

  • NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket is 'GO' for launch
  • Blast-off scheduled from Kennedy Space Center
  • Launch to be streamed LIVE on Youtube

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Artemis-1: NASA's mega Moon mission launch scheduled for Wednesday; find all details here

After two failed attempts, space agency NASA is all set for the launch of its Moon mission- Artemis-1 on November 16, 11.34 AM (India Standard Time)

After two failed attempts, NASA plans to launch its new mega Moon rocket on Wednesday from Florida, less than a week after the massive machine withstood a hurricane.

"Our time is coming. And we hope that that is on Wednesday," said Mike Sarafin, the manager of the much-delayed Artemis 1 mission, at NASA headquarters.

The Artemis 1 mission, a test flight without astronauts, represents the first step in the US space agency's plan to build a lasting presence on the Moon, and taking lessons from there to prepare for a future voyage to Mars.

Named after the sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, the new space program comes 50 years after humans last set foot on lunar soil.

The first launch of the Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful ever designed by NASA, is set for Wednesday at 1:04 am local time (0604 GMT), with a possible launch window of two hours.

Countdown has already begun at the storied Kennedy Space Center, where the orange and white behemoth awaits its maiden flight.

The takeoff is scheduled less than a week after the passage of Hurricane Nicole, which the rocket endured outside on its launch pad.

Two backup dates are possible if needed, on November 19 and 25.
About 100,000 people are expected on the coast to watch the launch, with the rocket promising to light up the night sky.

Also Watch| Artemis 1: how NASA's new moon mission will reach the lunar orbit

The Orion capsule will be lifted by two boosters and four powerful engines under the core stage, which will detach after only a few minutes.

After a final push from the upper stage, the capsule will be well on its way, taking several days to reach its destination.

Rather than landing on the Moon, it will assume a distant orbit, venturing 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the far side -- further than any other habitable spacecraft so far.

Finally, Orion will embark on the return leg of its journey. When passing through the atmosphere, the capsule's heat shield will need to withstand a temperature half as hot as the Sun's surface.

If takeoff happens Wednesday, the mission would last 25 and a half days in all, with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

NASA is banking on a successful mission after developing the SLS rocket for more than a decade. It will have invested more than $90 billion in its new lunar program by the end of 2025, according to a public audit.

Artemis 2 will be almost a replay of the first mission, albeit with astronauts, in 2024.

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