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NASA Finally Launch Moon-Bound Orion Spacecraft On SLS

Finally, the Artemis 1 mission has kicked off after NASA successfully launch the Orion spacecraft earlier today, November 16, 2022. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the gigantic Space Launch System rocket, or SLS, which is 212 feet (65 meters) tall and 27.6 feet (8.4 meters) wide.

After years of stalled development and a budget running into billions of dollars, the launch itself had seen several delays. Hurricanes initially caused the agency to move dates before technical problems that required fixing further delayed the launch.

Even on Wednesday’s launch, the engineers had to fix another hydrogen leak and a faulty ethernet switch. In a tweet announcing the start of Artemis 1, NASA said: “We are going.”

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The rocket climbed to an altitude of about 4,000 before its separated from the Orion capsule and fell back to Earth, into the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft will now continue its journey to the Moon, which it will orbit for some days before returning to Earth.

Orion is expected back on December 11 and with it, the three mannequins fitted with sensors to understand the way radiation would affect humans inside it as well as navigation and communication systems. The spacecraft will go further than any manned capsule have ever gone, traveling 40,000 miles beyond the Moon.

The mission will determine how NASA would prepare for Artemis II, which will be a crewed mission to the Moon’s orbit in 2024. Then, the final Artemis mission would be decided and will see the first woman and person of colour, land on the Moon in 2025.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.