It's been over 50 years since NASA last traveled to the Moon, but it appears they're not done just yet. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently announced plans of an upcoming mission to the natural satellite. From the launch date to the history-making plans it'll call for, here's what to know about the future flight.
On Friday, October 23, the space agency first announced the big news in a press release: after endless months and testing, the mission - named Artemis I - is in its final phases of preparation. Set for takeoff at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Artemis' Orion capsule will make its long-awaited flight to the moon in February 2022. But in doing so, history will also be made...
Not only will the upcoming launch help pave the way for future space exploration, but it will also mark the first woman and person of color to travel to the Moon. "It’s hard to put into words what this milestone means, not only to us here at Exploration Ground Systems, but to all the incredibly talented people who have worked so hard to help us get to this point," Mike Bolger, Exploration Ground Systems program manager, explained.
Nonetheless, there's still lots of work to be done before the history-making mission. In addition to a Wet Dress Rehearsal, "teams will conduct the first of a two-part test of the flight termination system inside the VAB. Once the systems are verified, the 322-foot-tall rocket will roll back into the VAB for final inspections and checkouts, including the second part of the flight termination system test, ahead of returning to the pad for launch," NASA revealed.
Once the said testing is properly completed, Artemis' 332 feet tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will finally lift off from the Cape Canaveral location. From the diverse crew members to the data that'll be collected, the upcoming mission is lining up to be a flight to remember. Until then, check out NASA for more details on the Artemis program - and be sure to stay tuned for all the latest updates.