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Sending man back to the moon – what you need to know about NASA’s historic mission

NASA officials say that the launch of the mission to return humans to the moon will proceed as planned next week.

Artemis 1 received the green light at Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a flight readiness assessment.

Here are the facts about historic space.


What does Artemis want to achieve?

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It is composed of three stages.

The 42-day, uncrewed orbit around the moon is the first. It will test both the Orion spacecraft and the rocket that the astronauts will use to fly around the moon.

The Orion capsule will fly 60 mph above the moon when it is closest and will then emerge in the Earth’s atmosphere at 25.000 mph.

More information about Nasa

The crew will be strapped in and launch for further testing during Artemis 2. Although the names of the four astronauts are not yet known, this stage has been scheduled for 2024.

They will fly by the moon for about 8-10 days before returning to Earth.

Image Humans will eventually be able to travel to the moon with an Orion spacecraft.
Image: America will establish a base on the Moon for future missions. Pic by NASA

Artemis 3 will see humans land on the moon for the first time since it was last visited by mankind. NASA says that the crew will consist of a woman as well as a person of colour.

It all depends on the success of previous missions, but currently it is scheduled for 2025.

NASA plans to construct a base camp, conduct annual missions, and use it to test other ambitious missions such as sending a person to Mars.


How powerful the Artemis 1 rocket is?

The Space Launch System (SLS), measuring 98 metres, is NASA’s most powerful rocket. It will fly farther than any other spacecraft designed for humans in its crucial testing phase: 40,000 miles beyond the moon’s far side and 280,000 miles from Earth.

Image: Each booster produces more thrust than 14 jumbo Jets. NASA
Image: The rocket is also powered by four RS-25 engines. NASA Pic

The Space Shuttle’s thrust of 8.8 million pounds at launch is 13% higher than that of the Space Shuttle and 15% more than the Saturn V rocket used for the Apollo missions.

NASA claims that each of the boosters generates more thrust per second than the 14 four-engine jumbo airliners. They will fire for 126 seconds and provide more than 75% thrust before the engines stop.

The outbound trip to Mars takes several days and is also powered by four RS-25 engine.


When is the launch date and how do I watch it?

Kennedy Space Center will launch the first Artemis mission on 29 August. The window for launch is two hours long and opens at 8.33 am (UK time).

The launch stream will begin on NASA’s website at 6.30 am local time (11.30am UK Time). However, there is also a stream of the rocket from the launchpad.

Live broadcasts of the launch will be hosted by Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Jack Black and Keke Black.

Image Launch of the rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center


When was it last that a human was on a moonwalk?

It was Apollo 17 in 1972, more than 50 years ago – three and a quarter years after Neil Armstrong’s first moonwalk.

President Kennedy had achieved his big goal and the Apollo missions were cancelled. NASA was also cut in funding.

These new missions were named after Artemis, the Greek goddess and twin sister to Apollo.

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