How to watch the Artemis I mission lift off to the moon

How to watch the Artemis I mission lift off to the moon
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Head to CNN for live coverage from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday afternoon. Space correspondent Kristin Fisher will provide us with detailed information about the launch, along with a team of experts.


The unmanned Artemis I mission is ready for another launch attempt this weekend.

The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft are scheduled to lift off between 2:17 and 4:17 pm ET Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Although there is no crew on board, the mission is the first step in the Artemis program, which aims to land humans on the moon and ultimately land them on Mars.

There is a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, and the chances increase to 80% towards the end of the window, Weather Officer Melody Lovin said during a news conference Friday morning.

If the rocket cannot launch on Saturday, the next possible launch window would be Monday.

Once launched, the Orion spacecraft will enter a distant retrograde orbit of the moon and travel 40,000 miles further, going farther than any spacecraft intended to carry humans. Crews will travel aboard Artemis II on a similar trajectory in 2024, with astronauts scheduled to arrive at the lunar south pole in late 2025 on the Artemis III mission. The Artemis program aims to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon.

The agency will share live views and coverage in English and Spanish before, during and after the launch of the Artemis I in its website and on NASA television. The broadcast will begin at 5:45 am ET when supercold propellant is loaded onto the SLS rocket.

After launch, NASA will hold a briefing later on Saturday. will share the first views of Earth from cameras aboard the Orion spacecraft. the Virtual Telescope Project will attempt to share live views of Orion on its way to the moon shortly after launch.

Orion’s journey will take around 38 days as it travels to the Moon, around it and back to Earth, covering 1.3 million miles (2.1 million km). The capsule will land in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego on October 11.

Cameras on and off Orion will share images and video throughout the mission, including live views of the Callisto experimentwhich will capture a stream from a dummy called Commander Moonikin Campos in the commander’s seat. If you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you can ask it for the mission location every day.

Here’s everything you can expect before, during, and after launch.

Early Saturday, the launch team will hold a briefing on weather conditions and decide whether to start fueling the rocket.

If all looks good, the team will start fueling the core stage of the rocket and then move on to the upper stage. The team will then top up and replenish the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that is dissipated during the refueling process.

Approximately 50 minutes before launch, the final briefing by NASA’s test manager will take place. The launch director will poll the team to make sure all stations are ready. 15 minutes before takeoff.

At 10 minutes and counting, things kick into high gear as the spacecraft and rocket make their way through the final steps. Much of the action takes place at the last minute when the ground launch sequencer sends the order for the rocket flight computer’s automated launch sequencer to take over.

In the last few seconds, the hydrogen will burn, all four RS-25 engines will start, resulting in a boost firing and a T-minus-zero takeoff.

The solid rocket boosters will separate from the spacecraft about two minutes after flight and fall into the Atlantic Ocean, with other components also disposed of soon after. The core stage of the rocket will separate about eight minutes later and fall into the Pacific. allowing the wings of Orion’s solar panels to unfold.

The perigee lift maneuver will occur about 12 minutes after launch, when the cryogenic propulsion intermediate stage undergoes a burn to raise Orion’s altitude so that it does not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

Shortly after is the translunar injection burn, when ICPS increases Orion’s speed from 17,500 miles per hour (28,163 kilometers per hour) to 22,600 miles per hour (36,371 kilometers per hour) to escape the pull of the moon. Earth’s gravity and go to the moon

After this burn, ICPS will separate from Orion.

At around 9:45 pm ET, Orion will make its first departure trajectory correction using the European Servicing Module, which provides the spacecraft with power, propulsion and thermal control. This maneuver will put Orion on its way to the moon.

The next few days after launch, Orion will venture out to the moon, coming within 60 miles (96 kilometers) during its closest approach on the sixth day of the journey. The service module will place Orion in a distant retrograde orbit around the moon on the 10th.

Orion will also surpass the distance record of 248,654 miles (400,169 kilometers), set by Apollo 13 in 1970, on the 10th when it orbits the moon. The spacecraft will reach its maximum distance from Earth of 280,000 miles (450,616 kilometers) on September 23 when it ventures 40,000 miles (64,373 kilometers) beyond the Moon.

READ MORE: Artemis I by the numbers

This is 30,000 miles (48,280 kilometers) more than the Apollo 13 record.

Orion will make its second closest approach to the lunar surface, coming within 500 miles (804 kilometers), on October 5. The service module will experience a burn that will allow the moon’s gravity to pull Orion back to Earth.

Photographers and reporters work near NASA's Artemis I rocket at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday.  A series of problems prevented takeoff at that time.

Just before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the service module will separate from Orion. The spacecraft will hit the top of Earth’s atmosphere moving at about 25,000 miles per hour (40,233 kilometers per hour), and its heat shield will experience temperatures of nearly 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius).

The atmosphere will slow Orion down to about 300 miles per hour (482 kilometers per hour), and a series of parachutes will slow it down to less than 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) before it crashes into the Pacific at 2 :10 p.m. ET on October 11.

Splashdown will be broadcast live from the NASA website, with views from 17 cameras aboard the recovery ship and helicopters awaiting Orion’s return.

The landing and recovery team will pick up the Orion capsule and data from the spacecraft will determine the lessons learned before humans return to the moon.

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