NASA’s Artemis I Launch to the Moon: How to Watch the Third Liftoff Attempt

The ambitious NASA expensive and the intricate moon rocket Artemis I has had a rough run. NASA had to chafe the first launch attempt due to an annoying engine problem. On the second attempt, a troublesome hydrogen leak kept the rocket grounded until repairs could be made. After tests cleared Artemis for a third attempt on September 21, NASA scientists circled September 27 for launch. But that, too, was undone when a tropical storm hit the Florida coast.

Needless to say, there was a bumpy road for Artemis.

Currently, NASA has a backup launch date of October 2, but with Tropical Storm Ian projected to become the fifth major hurricane of the 2022 season, there’s no guarantee the date will be met either. It’s even possible that NASA might roll the rocket back off the launch pad to protect it. Ian is expected to land in the US on Thursday, just days before the launch window opens.

“So when is this damn thing going to start?” you might ask. Well, that’s unclear at this point, but no matter what happens, you’ll want to watch live to see how the saga unfolds. And when that day comes, CNET will have all the details (and will be hosting a live stream!) right here.

To be clear, this mission will not have any astronauts on board, but a lot depends on its success, including the prospect of landing humans on the moon at some point in the near future. (That’s planned for 2025.) Come to launch day, Artemis I’s 32-story rocket will lift off from Earth and propel a pointy, relatively small white spacecraft named Orion into lunar orbit.

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Orion is filled to the brim with things like Amazon Alexa, TV character Shaun the Sheep, mannequins, miniature satellites and, most importantly, tons of navigation and data acquisition equipment. These special instruments within Orion will track vital information about the spacecraft’s trajectory, safety, radiation absorbance (and much more) that will essentially chart the routes of future missions – missions With a human crew like Artemis II and Artemis III in 2025. Think of Artemis I as a crucial flight test and proof-of-principle mission.

A flawless launch could mark the beginning of NASA’s modern lunar exploration years. It’s going to be a tense day with a nerve-wracking countdown, especially given the initial false starts, but also one surrounded by wonder and excitement. In other words, it’s going to be huge.

Artemis I rocket and Orion capsule on the launch pad.  In the foreground says a banner

The “We Are Going” banner, seen near the Artemis I rocket on the launch pad, is signed by NASA employees involved in the lunar mission.

Joel Kowsky/NASA

How to see the Artemis I launch

As soon as NASA officially announces the next launch window of the Artemis I mission, you can directly switch on the NASA app, NASA website or NASA TV. We will publish the start time of the future window for the following global time zones.

  • Brazil.
  • South Africa.
  • Russia.
  • United Arab Emirates.
  • India.
  • China.
  • Japan.
  • Australia.

You can also follow all the action live on CNET Highlights, our YouTube channel, just by clicking play below.

Artemis I launch sequence

When it comes to technical details, Here is the game board for Artemis I.

In a way, Liftoff is that the easiest Part. And I’m not exaggerating.

Team SLS goes first.

After the countdown, the SLS will ascend through Earth’s atmosphere. In two minutes, all of the solid propellant in the rocket’s boosters will be used up and those boosters will be jettisoned. After 8 minutes, all of the liquid fuel in the core stage is gone and that stage is jettisoned. Then Orion and the rocket’s upper stage will circle our planet all by themselves for about 18 minutes. Once that’s complete, it takes Orion about 12 minutes to deploy its solar arrays and end battery power.

At this point, as Sarafin puts it, the missile has done its job. Orion is on the way.

This diagram shows the stages in which the stages of the SLS rocket are jettisoned, propelling the Orion forward during the ascent.

A diagram showing what the rise of Artemis I will look like.

NASA; Screenshot by Monisha Ravisetti/CNET

Team Orion steps up to the plate.

“We really don’t have time to catch our breath,” Rick LaBrode, Artemis I’s senior flight director, said during an Aug. 5 news conference. Essentially, Orion’s trajectory relies on a multitude of precise maneuvers that will guide it along the complex path outlined below.

A diagram showing how Orion will fly to the moon, around the moon and back.  Several gravity aids are in place throughout the journey and a few checkpoints are outlined where translunar injections and descents will occur.

Orion’s trajectory around the moon and back is sketched here. 10 CubeSats are used on the way.

NASA; Screenshot by Monisha Ravisetti/CNET

Eventually, the craft will approach the lunar surface, get as low as 60 miles above the ground, and conduct a series of science experiments to test things like the lunar gravity and radiation hazards, and maybe even snap a few pictures like a recreation of Earthrise in 1968 The satellites inside Orion will be deployed en route, some physical data will be collected, and when all is said and done, the brave little spacecraft will return to our planet and land off the coast of San Diego.

Take Orion, unpack the data and Artemis I is complete. The whole thing should take six weeks.

If NASA manages to avoid any runaways along the way, it won’t be long before we’re scouring the internet for information on how to track the launch of Artemis II. And far into the future, we may be thinking of Monday as we sit back and watch a rocket tube headed not only for the moon but for Mars as well.

OK, I’m going ahead.

For now, the goal is a flawless launch for Artemis I, something that seems to be getting harder by the day.

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