NASA Uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon Mission To Liftoff In February 2022: All You Need To Know

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NASA is gearing up for the next mission to the Moon, which involves sending the first woman and the next man to Earth's nearest neighbor. Presently, the premier space agency is targeting February 2022 to liftoff the megarocket with the Space Launch System. Once the final tests go well, NASA will gear up for the first unmanned mission to the Moon.

 
NASA Uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon Mission To Liftoff In February 2022

NASA Artemis Mission Launch Date Announced

Here, the liftoff requires two major components, which are the SLS rocket and the Orion crew capsule. Recently, NASA engineers were able to stack the crew capsule on the 322-foot-tall mega launcher inside High Bay 3of the historic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This in itself was a major milestone for the space agency to kickstart the countdown.

Both the SLS and the Orion crew capsule are now part of the uncrewed flight around the moon, scheduled to take off early next year. This is the Artemis 1 mission and is expected to launch on February 12, 2022, NASA said in a statement.

NASA Uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon Mission To Liftoff In February 2022

"Artemis 1 is the first step in order to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. It's a very important achievement for this country and we're excited about the mission's progress so far," said Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters.

NASA is currently gearing up for the mega-rocket liftoff, one of the biggest ever since the Apollo program that landed the first man on the Moon. The Artemis mission is way behind schedule due to the pandemic. The initial program had the NASA rocket liftoff in November this year. However, it's now been postponed to February 2022.

Here, NASA is aiming to send the uncrewed mission to the Moon if the final tests before the mission go well. If the planned unmanned mission in 2022 goes well, NASA will be ramping up preparations to send astronauts to the Moon as early as 2024. This would be the foundation to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon, which would further drive exploration in Mars and planets beyond.

 

NASA Artemis Mission Prep-Up

Going into the details, SLS is one of the key components to take astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and other destinations in deep space. The same goes for the Orion crew capsule, which was stacked as part of the initial testing.

NASA Uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon Mission To Liftoff In February 2022

"Completing stacking is a really important milestone. It shows that we're in the homestretch toward the mission," said Mike Sarafin, NASA's Artemis 1 program manager. Further, Whitmeyer told reporters that the stacked rocket and crew capsule will rollout to the Launch Pad 39B in late December for testing.

Once done, the premier space agency will begin a fueling exercise known as a wet-dress rehearsal in early January. "After the wet-dress rehearsal, we will go back to the VAB for more checkouts and then roll back out to the pad one more time," said Sarafin. Ultimately, the stacking has kickstarted one of the most ambitious missions of NASA in recent times, which could open doors to deep space and beyond.

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