(CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida)– NASA is set to launch the uncrewed rocket, Artemis I, on its intended moon mission early Wednesday morning.
This is the agency’s third attempt at a launch after a series of fuel issues, hull integrity issues, and weather interference.
The mission of the Artemis I is to test a rocket called the Space Launch System and bring a spacecraft called the Orion into orbit.
The unmanned Orion, designed to transport astronauts to an orbit around the moon, will then use its own propulsion to carry itself to the moon, after which it will return to Earth.
The launch of the Artemis I and the return of the Orion will help set up a crewed mission to the moon that NASA hopes to conduct as early as 2025 if the mission is successful.
The multibillion-dollar Artemis program has been years in the making, resulting in a 322-foot-tall Space Launch System, which is the most powerful rocket NASA has ever developed.
Liftoff has been scheduled as early as 1 a.m. ET, with a post-launch news conference with agency administrator Bill Nelson and other NASA officials at 4 a.m. ET.
NASA will be streaming the launch on the NASA TV website.