When will Artemis 1 launch? NASA has revealed two new possible launch dates for its landmark uncrewed mission to the Moon, both of which will mean a shorter trip than originally planned.
Artemis I failed to launch for the second time on September 3, 2022 from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the Space Launch System (SLS) suffered a leak in a liquid hydrogen valve. The previous scrub on August 29 had been due to a faulty sensor on an engine cooling system.
Its maiden flight is now tentatively scheduled to take place on:
Between 6:47 a.m. EDT and 8:47 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Between 11:37 a.m. EDT and 12:47 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
How long will the Artemis I mission last?
According to the two new dates the mission will last for either 26 or 40 days. A launch on September 23 will have the Orion spacecraft splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego on October 18, just 26 days after launch. If it launches on September 27 then the mission duration will lengthen to 40 days. In that case, splashdown will be on November 5. Both are shorter than the 42 day missions NASA had been targeting.
If it fails to launch on those dates then the next targeted launch dates are likely to be in late October.
September 19 – October 4, 2022: 14 launch opportunities (but not September 29 and September 30).
October 17 – October 31, 2022: 11 launch opportunities (but not October 24, 25, 26, and 28).
Launch windows and mission durations are dictated by the position of the Moon.
What is Artemis I?
When Artemis I does finally lift-off it will embark on a 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) journey around the Moon and back again. Orion will enter an elliptical orbit of the Moon that will see them get to within 62 miles above its surface and about 40,000 miles beyond it. That’s farther than any spacecraft built for astronauts has ever flown.
What Is the SLS rocket?
The SLS is a largest rocket ever constructed—and that includes the agency’s Saturn V “Moon rocket,” which was last used in 1973. Standing 322 ft. high, the SLS is also a “Moon rocket” with 8.8 million pounds (3.9 million kg) of thrust.
When is Artemis II and Artemis III?
Artemis I is the first of three missions on the schedule, with Artemis II in 2024 slated to take four crew and Artemis III due to take two astronauts to the lunar surface in 2025 or later.