Final preparations for the NASA’s Artemis I mission began

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NASA is targeting Thursday, August 18 for the rollout of Orion spacecraft, taller than the Statue of Liberty, to the Space Launch System at Kennedy Space Center. Engineers are conducting the last integrated test.The uncrewed Artemis I test flight around the Moon and back is scheduled no earlier than Monday, August 29. NASA’s plan is to establish a long-term presence on the Moon in preparation for sending astronauts on to Mars. In a bid to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972, NASA has spent 17 years and an estimated $50 billion developing the Space Launch System (SLS) and its Orion spaceship. NASA’s main goal with Artemis I is to test every function of the launch and spaceflight system including Orion’s communication and navigation systems.

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Orion is scheduled to push itself toward Earth, plow through the atmosphere, and release parachutes to splash down off the coast of San Diego on October 10. NASA plans for Artemis II to repeat Artemis I’s flight, this time carrying a four-person crew on a 10-day on late 2024. When rolling the Orion spacecraft to the spaceport’s Launch Pad 39B NASA will provide a live stream beginning at 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 17 on the NASA Kennedy You Tube channel.