All being well, NASA will launch a new era of lunar exploration on August 29 when its next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
As part of the preparation for the highly anticipated Artemis I mission, the space agency is launching a new five-part series called Artemis I, Path to the Padshowing how the team behind the ambitious project got it to where it is today.
The first part is scheduled to air on NASA’s YouTube channel on Friday, August 12, and you can watch the trailer below:
The Artemis I mission will send the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built skyward. The SLS will propel an uncrewed Orion capsule toward the moon, where it will make a flyby before returning to Earth. Orion’s epic journey will cover 1.3 million miles and take 42 days to complete.
NASA’s mission will mark the first flight test of both the rocket and the spacecraft. If all goes according to plan, NASA will fly the same Artemis II flight, only this time with a crew on board.
And if that goes well, space fans will be able to settle in for the most exciting manned mission since the Apollo program five decades ago, as Artemis III heads to the moon to put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface. . No specific date has been set for the Artemis III mission, but it could take place as early as 2025.
Subsequent missions will strive to build a foundation for a long-term human presence on the lunar surface, with crews using new technologies to explore more of the moon than ever before. NASA wants to use what it learns from its manned lunar missions for its next big endeavor: the first human trips to Mars.
NASA does not say what time the first part of Artemis I, Path to the Pad, saying only that it will be available on Friday, August 12. So be sure to head over to your YouTube channel on Friday, or any time after that, to watch it.