Artemis launches for inaugural flight

Artemis, NASA's new moon rocket finally launched Wednesday after months of delays. The rocket will orbit the moon before returning to earth, a precursor to eventually putting astronauts on the lunar surface once again.

By

National News

November 16, 2022 - 2:39 PM

NASA’s Artemis 1 lifts off from launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., carrying the Orion spacecraft on a mission to orbit the moon, early Wednesday, November 16, 2022. The Orion capsule is scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Dex, 11 after 25 days in space. Photo by Joe Burbank / TNS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new moon rocket blasted off on its debut flight with three test dummies aboard Wednesday, bringing the U.S. a big step closer to putting astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the end of the Apollo program 50 years ago.

If all goes well during the three-week flight, the crew capsule will be propelled into a wide orbit around the moon and then return to Earth with a Pacific splashdown in December.

After years of delays and billions in cost overruns, the Space Launch System rocket thundered skyward, rising from Kennedy Space Center on 8.8 million pounds of thrust and hitting 100 mph within seconds. The Orion capsule was perched on top and, less than two hours into the flight, busted out of Earth’s orbit toward the moon.

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