NASA will give an update about its Artemis 1 moon mission today (Feb. 24) and you can tune in online.
Artemis 1 will be the first-ever launch of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket. The mission will send an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon, to ensure that the SLS-Orion duo is ready to carry astronauts for the agency's Artemis program of lunar exploration.
Artemis 1 is currently expected to roll out to its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida in mid-March ahead of a launch in April or May. We'll learn about the latest mission progress and timelines during Thursday's press conference, which will start at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT). You can listen to it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the agency.
Participating in the call will be:
- Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA headquarters in Washington
- Mike Bolger, Exploration Ground Systems program manager at KSC
- Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager at NASA headquarters
The mid-March rollout of the SLS-Orion stack will allow NASA to conduct a crucial prelaunch test.
"This final test, known as the wet dress rehearsal, will run the launch team through operations to load propellant into the rocket's tanks and conduct a full launch countdown. Following a successful rehearsal, NASA will roll the rocket stack back into the Vehicle Assembly Building for final checks and set an official target date for launch," agency officials wrote in an update Tuesday (Feb. 22).
"Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone on the way to Mars," they added.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.
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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.