NASA Is all set to launch the Artemis I Moon mission, which will be the first in a series of complex missions that will help extend humanity’s reach to the Moon. The 2-hour launch window for the Artemis I mission will begin today evening at 6:03PM IST, and NASA is going ahead with the launch despite the prevailing rainy conditions and the launch vehicle being struck by lightning.
HOW AND WHERE TO WATCH ARTEMIS 1 Launch
NASA will provide launch, pre-launch, and post-launch coverage of the Artemis I launch. The two-hour launch window begins at 6:03PM IST today. Interested readers can catch the launch livestream on NASA’s official YouTube channel, NASA app, and on NASA Television. Alternatively, interested readers can watch the launch live from the video embedded below this paragraph. The launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. The live broadcast will also see celebrity appearances by Jack black, Chris Evans, and Keke Palmer
WHAT IS THE ARTEMIS 1 MISSION
As mentioned, the Artemis I mission will be the first of its kind in a series of complex missions to widen humanity’s understanding of the Moon. This is the first integrated test flight for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the Orion spacecraft, and their associated ground systems. The mission will demonstrate the capabilities and performance of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft during a six-week long mission that will see the payload take a 65,000 kilometer journey to the Moon and back.
The payload on the Orion capsule will include three test dummies. One dummy in an orange flight suit will take the commander’s seat, rigged with vibration and acceleration sensors. There are two other dummies made of material mimicking the human tissue. These will measure the cosim radiation on a human body, one of the biggest risk of spaceflights. One torso among these is also testing a protective vest from Israel.
Apart from the three dummies, the payload will also carry deep-space research projects. This includes ten small satellites that will pop out of the Orion spacecraft once it is near the Moon. These satellites were installed in the rocket about a year ago.
The Orion spacecraft will also carry a few silvers of the moon rocks that were collected by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969, along with a bolt from their rocket that was found in a sea about a decade ago.
Orion will also carry Biological Experiment-01 containing experiments on seeds, fungi, yeast and algae. There is also an on-board voice recognition system that has been developed in partnership with Amazon, Cisco, and Lockheed Martin.
The flight also includes thousands of other items that will become “flown into space” momentos on Earth. These include seeds that will be planted to become “Moon trees,” a dead see pebble, mission patches, stickers, USB drives and national flags, some Lego, and a Snoopy toy.