NASA’s Artemis I mission successfully completed its first test launch on November 16, 2022, marking a major milestone in the agency’s program to return humans to the Moon and beyond.
The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built, blasted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the Orion spacecraft on a 26-day journey around the Moon and back.
Orion performed flawlessly during its mission, demonstrating its ability to operate in the harsh environment of deep space and to support astronauts on future lunar and Martian missions. The spacecraft also captured stunning images of the Moon and Earth, which were shared with the public.
On December 11, 2022, Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California, completing the Artemis I mission.
The success of the Artemis I mission is a testament to the hard work and dedication of NASA’s team and its partners around the world. It is also a significant step forward in NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon by 2025 and to establish a sustainable presence on the lunar surface.
What’s next for Artemis?
NASA is already preparing for the next mission in the Artemis program, Artemis II. Artemis II will be a crewed mission that will fly around the Moon and back, but will not land on the surface. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2024.
Artemis III will be the first crewed mission to land on the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2025.
NASA is also working on developing new technologies and capabilities to support future Artemis missions, such as the Gateway lunar space station and the Artemis lunar rovers.
The Artemis program is a bold and ambitious undertaking, but it is one that NASA is committed to seeing through. The agency believes that the Moon is the ideal stepping stone to Mars and other deep space destinations.