The US space agency has launched the largest rocket ever launched by mankind, in preparation for the planned 2024 moon landing.
With the Artemis-1 mission, NASA started on the road to putting a man back on the Moon fifty years after the Apollo program ended. At 7:47 a.m. on 16 November, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the largest and most powerful rocket ever launched by mankind, took to the skies, topped by the Orion space capsule, which has not yet been piloted in Phase 1. Orion will be equipped with sensors to test the effects and radiation exposure of future astronauts. The launch had to be postponed several times due to unsuitable weather conditions, but now the SLS has been successfully launched after some minor technical problems were solved.
As the SLS left Florida at dawn local time, spectacular sunrise images were taken of the rocket as it climbed steeply upwards. Over the 25 days of the mission, Orion will cover more than two million kilometers as it makes its way to the Moon, before finally crashing back into the ocean, expected on December 11.
NASA plans to launch the second phase of Artemis in 2024, when a two-man crew is expected to set off on the mission to the Moon.
Watch NASA’s live coverage of the launch here:
Cover photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky