How to watch the Artemis I mission launch to the moon

How to watch the Artemis I mission launch to the moon
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Tune in to CNN Saturday afternoon for live coverage from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Space correspondent Kristin Fisher, along with a team of experts, will bring us moment-by-moment reports from launch.

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

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

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

If the rocket fails to 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 fly 40,000 miles beyond, further than any spacecraft designed to carry humans. Crews will fly a similar trajectory aboard Artemis II in 2024, and astronauts are scheduled to arrive at the moon’s south pole on the Artemis III mission in late 2025. The Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon.

The agency will share live views and coverage in both English and English Spanish before, during and after the Artemis I launched on it website and on NASA television. The broadcast begins at 5:45 a.m. ET when super-cold propellant is loaded into the SLS rocket.
Snoopy, mannequins and Apollo 11 items will parade past the moon aboard Artemis I
After launch, NASA will conduct a briefing later on Saturday will share the first Earth views from cameras aboard the Orion spacecraft. That Virtual Telescope Project will try to share live views of Orion on its way to the moon shortly after launch.

Orion’s journey will take approximately 38 days as it travels to, orbits, and returns to the Moon — covering 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) in the process. The capsule will land in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego on October 11.

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

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

Countdown to start

Early Saturday the start team will conduct a briefing on the weather conditions and decide whether to start refueling the rocket.

If everything looks good, the team will start refueling the rocket’s core stage and then move on to refueling the upper stage. The team will then top up and replenish liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that fizzle out during the refueling process.

About 50 minutes before launch, the final briefing from the NASA test manager takes place. The Launch Director will interview the team to ensure each station is “go”. 15 minutes before the start.

Artemis I will bring the first biological experiment into space

At 10 minutes and counting, things kick into high gear as the spaceship and rocket go through the final steps. Much of the action takes place in the last minute, when the ground launch sequencer sends the order for the missile flight computer’s automatic launch sequencer to take over.

In the final seconds, hydrogen burns off, the four RS-25 engines start, resulting in booster ignition and liftoff at T minus zero.

trip to the moon

The solid rocket boosters will separate from the spacecraft about two minutes into flight and land in the Atlantic, with other components also jettisoned shortly thereafter. The rocket’s core stage will separate about eight minutes later and fall towards the Pacific, Allowing the wings of Orion’s solar array to unfurl.

The perigee raising maneuver occurs about 12 minutes after launch when the preliminary cryogenic propulsion stage undergoes combustion to raise Orion’s altitude to prevent it from re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Shortly after, the translunar injection occurs when the 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 Earth’s gravitational pull and set off to make moon.

After this fire, the ICPS will separate from Orion.

At approximately 9:45 p.m. ET, Orion will perform its first outbound trajectory correction using the European Service Module, which will provide power, propulsion and thermal control for the spacecraft. This maneuver will put Orion on its way to the moon.

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

Meet Commander Moonikin Campos, the mannequin who flies further than any astronaut

Orion will also surpass the distance record of 248,654 miles (400,169 kilometers) – set by Apollo 13 in 1970 – on the 10th day as 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.

That’s 30,000 miles (48,280 kilometers) further than the Apollo 13 record.

Orion will make its second closest approach to the moon’s surface on October 5, coming within 500 miles (804 kilometers). The service module will experience a burn allowing the moon’s gravity to throw Orion on its way 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 the launch at the time.

Shortly before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the service module will separate from Orion. The spacecraft will impact the top of Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 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 to about 300 miles per hour (482 kilometers per hour) and a series of parachutes will slow it to less than 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) before it touches down in the Pacific at 2 a.m. 11. Oct at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Splashdown will be streamed 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 collect the Orion capsule and determine the spacecraft’s data the lessons learned before humans return to the moon.

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