Artemis-1 launch early tomorrow morning (and I mean EARLY)

November 15, 2022 • 11:00 am

My friend Jim Batterson, who worked for NASA and has written updates on space exploration on this site, now has a summary of the crewless NASA Artemis-1 Mission which has been scheduled for launch three times and delayed all three times. It’s now scheduled for early tomorrow morning (you can watch if if you’re a night owl or live overseas). The goal is to get humans to the Moon and have them stay there for a while, i.e., establish a lunar base. And that is preparation for the ultimate goal: establishing a base on Mars where humans can live for substantial periods, if not permanently.

NASA Artemis-1 Mission Update Summary

Jim Batterson

November 14, 2022 (1615 EST)

(Interpreted from public news reports with my best efforts)

As of this afternoon (Monday), NASA managers at Kennedy Space Station have assessed the hurricane storm-damage reports provided by engineers and technicians who have inspected the Artemis-1 rocket and launch systems after last week’s high winds and water from Hurricane Nicole. The report is that that the damage is either repairable or does not compromise flight safety; so they are still committed to a 1:04 AM EST Wednesday morning launch.

NASA plans to launch the delayed Artemis-1 moon rocket mission very early Wednesday morning at 1:04AM EST from NASA’s Cape Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The mission was delayed several times due to mechanical glitches, conflicts with other higher priority launches, and by a couple of late-season hurricanes that hit Florida this Fall.

This launch is designed to stress-test the NASA Space Launch System, a rocket-and-capsule configuration designed to send a human crew to the Moon and return them safely to Earth.  This test will NOT carry humans. The combination of four Space Shuttle-style main engines and two solid-fuel rocket boosters produces more thrust than either the Space Shuttle System or the Apollo/Saturn V systems.

The mission is designed to last around 26 days while the Orion Crew Capsule exercises its maneuvering capabilities in lunar orbit before returning to Earth with a high-speed entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. After Orion splashes down in the ocean, it will be recovered with a ship.

The nighttime launch should be spectacular, with the solid rockets burning out after two minutes, separating from the rest of the rocket and falling into the ocean, the main rocket stage with its four liquid-fueled rocket engines continuing for another six minutes before it separates from the upper stage rocket/Orion Crew Capsule combination.  At this point the upper stage and capsule are in Earth orbit.  Over the next two hours, the upper stage engine will perform a couple of burns that take it and the capsule out of Earth orbit into a trajectory to the moon (I get excited just writing this! – jgb).

At this point the capsule is headed into a five-day coast to the moon.  It will slow due to Earth’s gravitational pull on it until it reaches a point where the moon’s gravitational pull is greater than the Earth’s and at that point will begin an acceleration toward the moon.  So the action for now is pretty much between 1:00 and 3:00 AM EDT Wednesday morning, with the next critical maneuvering scheduled for when the capsule arrives in lunar vicinity early next week.  Jerry published a very informative write-up on WEIT on September 3, before an earlier delayed launch attempt at URL

All of the information and activities listed there should be the same for this mission, except for the actual dates.  NASA Live TV will cover the launch at NASA.GOV as will my website of choice, SPACE.COM.

JAC: Here’s a NASA video of the Orion spacecraft from some time ago. Orion is the capsuleFhot, and Artemis the name of the series of its projected mission.

JAC: Here’s a NASA video showing the goal of the entire project:

15 thoughts on “Artemis-1 launch early tomorrow morning (and I mean EARLY)

  1. I wish I was still living in Central Florida. We used to be able to watch the Space Shuttle go up from where we lived. Not from Miami, I wouldn’t think. If it were doable, I would be awake and on the beach to watch.

    1. We lived in Southeastern Virginia about 35 feet above the mouth of the James River with our deck facing east northeast toward the Atlantic. On Shuttle launches to the Space Station, we could see Shuttle out over the ocean about eight minutes after launch with its bright orange fiery tail climbing into orbit just before main engine cut off. Eight minutes from Florida to off the Virginia capes and 200 miles high! If it were close to dinner time, a bunch of engineers from my nasa department would come over to watch over a cookout of burgers and beers. I will stay up tonight with my fingers crossed in front of or nasa live.

  2. I wish I were a flat-earther — then I could go out and watch the launch here in Iowa! [Apparently they make their own reality so it would have to work.]

  3. So cool! I’ll watch the instant replay later in the day.

    I hope to live long enough to see humans land on Mars. So far, so good. What an amazing accomplishment that will be.

  4. Just watched and more impressive heard the deep rumble of lift off followed by orbital insertion. Went off about 40 minutes after first scheduled launch time as crews worked a few last minute issues. Congrats to the team and best wishes on successful completion of next burns to send you on way to moon.

  5. Phenomenal. So exciting when it was clear launch was going to happen and then nothing like it when those engines ignite.

    Plus, being in West Australia, I didn’t have to stay up!

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