NASA rules out Artemis I lunar launch #2: how to watch for future attempts

NASA’s ambitious, expensive and intricate Artemis program was scheduled to launch on a bright Saturday afternoon…until the agency had to scrap its attempt to send the tangerine-colored rocket to the stars (again).

Initially, the launch of Artemis I was planned for Monday, but due to an engine problem, NASA had to screw up that attempt. also. Needless to say, it’s been a bumpy road for Artemis. We still have no official word on when attempt number 3 will take place, although it’s worth noting that the final date on NASA’s list of three possible launch windows is September 5, but whatever happens, you’ll want to follow live to see how the saga unfolds.

When that day comes, CNET will have all the details (and a live stream!) right here.

To be clear, this liftoff will not have astronauts on board, but the stakes are high for its success, including the possibility of landing people on the moon at some point in the near future. (That’s planned for 2025.) Come release day, Artemis I’s 32-story tangerine rocket It will blast off from Earth and propel a relatively small, spiky white spacecraft called Orion into lunar orbit.

Orion is filled to the brim with things like Amazon-Alexa, TV character Shaun the Sheep, mannequins, miniature satellites, and most importantly, tons of navigation and data collection equipment. These special instruments inside Orion will track vital information about the spacecraft’s trajectory, safety, radiation absorption (and much more) that will essentially chart the paths of future missions. with a human crew like Artemis II and Artemis III from 2025. Think of Artemis I as a crucial flight test and proof-of-principle mission.

A flawless launch could usher in NASA’s modern years of lunar exploration. It’s going to be a tense day with a nail-biting countdown, especially considering the first failed launch attempt, but also shrouded in an air of wonder and excitement. In other words, it’s going to be huge.

Artemis I rocket and Orion capsule on the launch pad.  In the foreground, a banner reads

The “We Are Going” banner, seen near the Artemis I rocket on the launch pad, is signed by NASA workers involved in the lunar mission.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

How to watch the launch of Artemis I

Once NASA announces the date for the second shower of the Artemis I mission, you’ll be able to tune in to the NASA app, NASA website, or NASA TV directly. We will publish the future window start time for the following global time zones.

  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
  • Russia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • India
  • Porcelain
  • Japan
  • Australia

You’ll also find all the action live on CNET Highlights, our YouTube channel, by simply clicking play just below!

The path to launch Artemis I

NASA has already begun to build anticipation for Artemis I’s journey into space, evident by the incredible turnout for the attempt Monday morning. Briefings were held every day until Monday’s liftoff attempt, for example, on things like the role of industry in advancing human exploration, managing the lunar mission, how Artemis is prepared to drive to Mars excursions and just general comments on the way to the stars.

A full schedule of those meetings, broadcast on NASA TV, can be found here.

Against a midnight blue sky, a full moon is visible toward the top left of the image and NASA's orange Artemis I rocket and Orion spacecraft set up in the foreground.

A full moon is seen from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 14, 2022.

NASA/Cory Houston

You may also want to prepare for celebrity appearances by Jack Black, Chris Evans, and Keke Palmer, as well as performances of The Star-Spangled Banner by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock and America the Beautiful by The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yo-Yo. Ma, the latter directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. What. A party.

Artemis I Launch Sequence

If you are interested in the technical details, here is the game plan for Artemis I.

In a way, takeoff is the easier part. And I’m not exaggerating.

The SLS team is the first.

After the countdown, the SLS will ascend through the Earth’s atmosphere. Within two minutes, all of your solid propellant, located in the rocket’s propellants, will be consumed and those propellants will be jettisoned. After 8 minutes, all of its liquid fuel, located in the core stage, will be used up and that stage will be discarded. Then, for the next 18 minutes, Orion and the rocket’s upper stage will circle our planet alone. Once complete, Orion will take about 12 minutes to deploy its solar panels and disconnect battery power.

At that point, as Sarafin says, the rocket has done its job. Orion is on his way.

This diagram shows the stages where the SLS rocket stages will jettison and Orion will be propelled forward during ascent.

A diagram showing what the rise of Artemis I will look like.

Screenshot by Monisha Ravisetti/NASA

The Orion team steps up to home plate.

“There’s really no time to catch your breath,” Rick LaBrode, Artemis I’s chief flight director, said during a news conference on August 5. Orion’s trajectory relies heavily on a multitude of precise maneuvers that will take him down the complex path outlined below.

A diagram showing how Orion will fly to the moon, around the moon, and back.  Various gravity aids are present during the journey and some checkpoints where translunar injections and exits will occur are described.

Orion’s path around the moon and back is described here. Along the way, 10 cubesats will be deployed.

Screenshot by Monisha Ravisetti/NASA

Eventually, the spacecraft will get closer to the lunar surface, coming within just 60 miles above ground, and will perform a bunch of science experiments to test things like lunar gravity, radiation hazard, and maybe even take some photos as a recreation of 1968 Earthrise. Satellites inside Orion will deploy along the way, capture some physical data, and once all is said and done, the plucky little spacecraft will return to our planet and splash down in front of the San Diego coast.

Collect Orion, extract the data, and Artemis I is complete. Everything is expected to take six weeks.

If NASA manages to avoid any hiccups along the way, it won’t be long before we find ourselves scouring the internet for information on how to watch the launch of Artemis II. And in the distant future, perhaps we’ll reflect on Monday as we sit back and watch a rocket launch not only to the moon, but also to Mars.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

For now, you can admire the Orion-topped Artemis I SLS rocket cooling off on the launch pad. Here is a constant live stream during his final moments on Earth.

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