After a half-century hiatus, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission will take a crucial step towards bringing humans back to the Moon. Launched on Monday, 29 August 2022, the mission will test NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion Crew Capsule without a crew.
In addition to traveling to the Moon, the spacecraft will deploy some small satellites, then settle into orbit around the planet. In order to ensure that the spacecraft and any occupants can return to Earth safely, NASA aims to practice operating the spacecraft and test the conditions crews will encounter on and around the Moon.
A former member of the Presidential Transition Team for NASA, Jack Burns, is a professor and space scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder. He will describe the mission, explain the Artemis program for space exploration, and reflect on how the space program has changed since humans last touched the surface of the moon half a century ago.
The new Space Launch System is set to launch with Artemis 1. In the 1960s and 1970s, Apollo’s Saturn V system was the most powerful rocket engine ever flown into space, even more powerful than this vehicle, which NASA refers to as a “heavy lift” vehicle.