NASA’s return to the Moon starts today with the launch of Artemis I. The mission is the maiden voyage of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built, and the Orion spacecraft, which is being tested to guarantee future astronauts' safety with the goal of sending humans back to the Moon this decade. We are livestreaming it today right here.
The rocket is launching from the historic Launch Pad 39B (Apollo and Skylab both launched from here) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch window opens at 8:33 am ET (12:33 pm UTC) and will stay open for two hours though it's likely the launch will take place earlier rather than later. It is being streamed live on NASA’s channels and you can also check out our live stream on our Facebook page.
This mission will send a spacecraft designed for humans furthest than ever before and demonstrate that the technology is ready to send astronauts into deep space safely and even get back to the surface of the Moon. If this test is successful, the first woman and the first person of color might be putting a foot on the Moon in just a few years' time.
There are a lot of apprehensions about this launch, however. There have been issues during the massive rocket's wet rehearsals and even today as the craft was being fueled up. There are also reports of a crack in one of the vehicle's flange. Even if the launch proceeds as expected, first real-world tests are full of unknowns and the risk associated with them are difficult to estimate. Despite NASA's excellent track record, something could still go wrong, which is why Artemis I is traveling without humans on board.
How to watch Artemis I launch today live
If you are not one of the thousands that have traveled to Cape Canaveral, don’t worry, you can watch SLS launch from the historic Launchpad 39B live where ever you are in the world.
The two-hour launch window opens at 8.33 am ET (12:33 pm UTC) today and you can watch the live stream on our Facebook page right here. You can also watch it live on NASA TV, on its website and multiple social media platforms.