NASA has successfully launched its Artemis 1 moon rocket into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Wednesday after overcoming two failed attempts.
This historical accomplishment witnessed the launch of NASA’s biggest-ever rocket climbing skyward in an astonishing mix of light and sound, aiming to put astronauts back on the moon after five decades of loitering in low-Earth orbit.
After the successful launch of the Artemis I Mission, NASA Flight Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said while addressing her colleagues, “For once I might be speechless,” and in paying tribute to her team’s hard work added, “This is your moment.”
Blackwell-Thompson also said, “You have earned your place in history,” describing the mission as the first step for humanity’s return to the Moon and a later visit to Mars.
The 100-meter-tall Artemis spacecraft, known as Orion, is uncrewed for this particular flight, but, if everything works as expected, people will climb aboard for future missions.
— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) November 16, 2022
Exciting to launch the moon rocket after aborted attempts
According to observers, it was exciting to finally see the Artemis 1 rocket fly, lighting up the sky—and with such a huge roar as it blasted off after the many delays.
The U.S. space agency, NASA, had made two previous attempts in August and September, but those were futile, and the planned launches were aborted during the countdown because of technical glitches.
With thousands of people gathered on Florida’s beaches on August 29th to watch this launch, including Vice President Kamala Harris, NASA announced that the launch director “has called a scrub for the day,” indicating that an engine bleed that “couldn’t be remedied” had caused it.
Also, on Saturday, September 3rd, NASA postponed the launch of the Artemis I Moon rocket for the second time in a week, noting that controllers were unable to stop a hydrogen leak on the vehicle, thereby calling off the scheduled launch.
During Wednesday’s successful launch, it was clear that such issues were overcome and the Space Launch System, as the rocket is often called, was given the “go” to begin its ascent to the moon. It was traveling at six thousand miles per hour (9,656 km/h).
Notably, for the success of the launch, the weather was crucial, and, therefore, according to NASA’s scientists and administrators, their assessment indicated the local conditions were ninety percent favorable.
Whereas the weather was favorable, during the last few moments, NASA said there are “no constraints to launch,” which implied that any last-minute hitches were being resolved.
The commentator on NASA’s live feed described it as “great news,” exclaiming: “We rise together, back to the moon and beyond.”
Artemis launch an inspiration to new generation
To date, it’s been fifty years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their first small steps on the Moon in the Apollo program which ushered in a golden era of space exploration while transforming how we see our planet and ourselves.
The Artemis launch once again gives humanity sight of the Moon. It is an inspiration to the new generations that never got to witness the Apollo missions for themselves.
NASA’s Artemis Moon Program consists of different missions, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, indicating that space exploration is open to everyone.
According to NASA, the lunar surface is just the start because its sights and ambition are set on Mars. This will truly be a giant leap for mankind to experience.
Artemis 1 is destined for a twenty-six-day mission and is expected to arrive on the moon on Day 6 from the time of launch. A few days after that, it will enter into what is known as distant retrograde orbit—distant because it will be about forty thousand miles above the surface of the moon.
On the sixteenth day, the spacecraft will leave the distant retrograde orbit and begin its return trip to Earth. It is expected to land on December 11, 2022.
What does the name Artemis mean ?
Artemis (Greek: ‘Αρτεμις ) is the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, nature, and chastity in Greek mythology and religion. She was strongly associated with Selene, the Moon, and was thus one of the most prominent lunar deities in Greek mythology. She would often roam the forests of Greece, accompanied by a large entourage of nymphs, mortals, and hunters. Diana is her Roman equivalent.