NASA Announces Artemis 1 Launch Dates
After four wet dress rehearsals and continuing work on the Space Launch System, NASA announced the first set of Artemis 1 launch dates. NASA expects Artemis 1 to launch no earlier than August 29th, with September 2nd and 5th as potential launch dates within the same launch window.
Artemis 1 is an unmanned mission that will fly the Orion spacecraft to the Moon, where it will remain in orbit for several weeks before returning to Earth.
The Artemis 1 mission is a test mission that will check out the deep space systems on the Orion spacecraft, the SLS rocket, and the ground systems that will recover the capsule after splashdown.
Even after four wet dress rehearsals there is still work to be done on the SLS rocket, including a recent issue discovered and mentioned in a press briefing. Crews working to repair a hydrogen leak found a loose fitting called a collet which is a component that guides the quick disconnect to the rocket during assembly operations.
As this work continues, NASA progresses towards launch and can be ready to roll out to the pad again by August 18th. The three potential launch dates announced by NASA have different launch windows and mission durations due to several factors.
The August 29th launch date is scheduled for 7:33 a.m. CDT with a two hour launch window and landing on October 10th.
The September 2nd launch date is scheduled for 11:48 a.m. CDT with a two hour launch window and landing on October 11th.
The September 5th launch date is scheduled for 4:12 p.m. CDT with a ninety minute launch window and landing on October 17th.
In all cases, return and splashdown of the Orion spacecraft will occur in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of San Diego.
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I’ve turned a lifetime fascination for space exploration and astronomy into a career writing, speaking, and creating STEM programming about all things space. Until I get the chance to experience space for myself I’ll share the stories of every mission of a lifetime I have the opportunity to witness.
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