Where and when to watch NASA launch the most powerful rocket ever on the Artemis-1 mission launch

NASA is “gone” for an after-breakfast launch of the biggest rocket ever, and that includes the Saturn V’s last flight in 1973.

A flight readiness exam this week confirmed that its Artemis-1 mission will launch during a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT on Monday, August 29.

However, if for some reason it doesn’t launch in time, the next time it can go is at lunchtime on Friday, September 2, 2022.

Artemis-1 is a mission like no other – a long-duration journey to the Moon, far beyond and back. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will test NASA’s new heavy rocket, Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system before crewed flights to the Moon .

Standing 322 feet tall, SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket to launch since NASA’s last Saturn V “moon rocket” launched the Skylab space station into Earth orbit in 1973.

With a thrust of 8.8 million pounds (3.9 million kg), SLS is the most powerful rocket ever produced. You don’t want to miss this!

Here’s everything you need to know to watch the launch of Artemis-1:

Where Artemis-1 will be launched from

Artemis-1 will launch from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

When Artemis-1 will be launched

Artemis-1 is scheduled to launch on Monday, August 29, 2022. The launch window opens at 8:33 a.m. EST and closes at 10:33 a.m. EST. If the launch is cancelled, there are two other launch dates: Friday, September 2 (12:48 a.m. – 2:48 p.m. EDT) and Monday, September 5 (5:12 p.m. – 6:42 p.m. EDT).

Why Artemis-1 can’t launch a day late

The position of the Moon. The trajectory of the solar-powered Orion spacecraft must not take it through the path of an eclipse – the shadow of the Moon – for more than 90 minutes, or it will completely lose power. If it doesn’t launch by September 6, the next launch window is September 19, 2022.

When and where to watch the launch of Artemis-1

NASA’s YouTube is the place to go to watch extended launch coverage on Monday, August 29, 2022. Although programming actually begins at midnight, actual launch coverage starts at 6:30 a.m. NASA TV is also available on the NASA website, Facebook, Twitch and in 4k on the NASA UHD Channel.

Here is the exact program as well as some events not to be missed in the post-launch hours:

  • 6:30 a.m. EST: Live launch coverage begins in English (Spanish is at 7:30 a.m. EST on separate streams on Twitter, facebook and youtube).
  • 8:33 a.m. to 10:33 a.m. EST: launch window.
  • About an hour after liftoff there will be a post-launch press conference.
  • 4:00 PM EST: Coverage of Orion’s first outbound trajectory burn on the way to the Moon. The exact time depends on the exact take-off time.
  • 5:30 p.m. EST: Coverage of the first views of Earth from Orion during the coast to the Moon. The exact time depends on the exact take-off time.

Where to find Artemis-1 launch updates

Rocket launches rarely go on time, so be prepared for delays, friction, etc. Make plans, but know that you will probably have to redo them. Keep an eye on the @NASAArtemis and @NASA Twitter feed for launch time updates and coverage changes.

What Artemis-1 will do

The spacecraft and rocket will launch, orbit Earth, then send Orion and the ESM into an elliptical orbit of the Moon that will see them arrive less than 111 kilometers above its surface – around the 7th September 2022 – and around 40,000 miles beyond in the days that follow. It’s farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. It will then return for an even closer flyby of the Moon on the way back.

When Artemis-1 will land

If launched successfully, the Artemis-1 mission will last 42 days, with a drop off San Diego, California in the Pacific Ocean on October 10, 2022.

Ultimate goal of the Artemis program

Artemis-1 will mark the beginning of humanity’s return to the Moon. The last humans to walk on the lunar surface were Apollo 17 astronauts Jack Schmitt and Gene Cernan in 1972. The plan is to land the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon’s south pole, likely in 2025 in the Artemis -1 missions.

Next up is Artemis-2 in 2024, largely a repeat of Artemis-1, but with four astronauts on board to test Orion’s life support systems. Artemis-2 will be a 10-day mission with two Earth orbits before traveling 4,600 miles beyond the far side of the Moon.

I wish you clear skies and big eyes.

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