NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission will be the agency's first big step toward returning astronauts to the lunar surface.
Formerly known as Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), Artemis 1 will be the first test flight of the agency's new Space Launch System megarocket and the Orion crew capsule.
The SLS rocket will launch the uncrewed Orion spacecraft on an approximately 26-day mission, during which it will spend six days orbiting the moon before returning to Earth.
Artemis 1 is currently scheduled to launch no earlier than late May 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Check back here for live updates on the mission.
Artemis 1 stack rolls off launch pad
NASA began rolling its Artemis 1 moon mission off Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida this afternoon (April 25). The Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule that will fly Artemis 1 are on their way back to KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building, where team members will address a few issues identified during the Artemis 1 "wet dress rehearsal" earlier this month.
The 4-mile (6.4 kilometers) journey to the VAB is expected to take 8 to 12 hours, NASA officials said.
NASA halts 3rd attempt at fueling Artemis 1 moon rocket
NASA did not finish fueling the core stage of the Artemis 1 moon mission's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as planned today (April 14), calling it off after noticing a leak of liquid hydrogen. Read our full story here.
It was the agency's third attempt at SLS propellant loading, one of the most important parts of the Artemis 1 prelaunch "wet dress rehearsal." Technical issues scuttled the first two tries as well. It's unclear when the Artemis 1 team will resume the multi-day test, and which procedures they still want to do; we'll have to stay tuned for updates, which NASA officials said will be coming shortly.
NASA pauses fueling of Artemis 1 moon rocket
NASA has paused the fueling of the Artemis 1 mission's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket after encountering an issue during a "fast fill" of liquid hydrogen, or LH2.
"After fast fill on LH2 began, a surge in pressure automatically stopped the flow of liquid hydrogen," agency officials wrote in an update at 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT) today (April 14). "Teams are working to troubleshoot this issue and the rocket is in a safe configuration. In the meantime, liquid oxygen flow was paused on the core stage to ensure the tanking operations for LOX and LH2 remain synchronized."
LOX, or liquid oxygen, is the other propellant for the SLS.
These operations are part of the Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal, a crucial series of prelaunch tests that began on Tuesday (April 12) and are slated to wrap up this afternoon. Keep checking back here for more updates about the test.
Fueling underway for Artemis 1 moon rocket
NASA is proceeding with liquid oxygen fueling of the Artemis 1 moon rocket after temperature readings slowed their work earlier today.
"After troubleshooting an issue with the temperature of liquid oxygen during early stages of propellant loading into the rocket’s core stage, launch controllers have resumed operations," NASA wrote in an update at 12:25 pm ET. "Teams performed chill down operations again before liquid oxygen began flowing into the tank and adjusted pump speeds as necessary during flow to help ensure temperatures remain below limits. They also opened valves to bleed off any warm liquid oxygen."
NASA has also begun filling the Artemis 1 core stage with the super-cold liquid hydrogen propellant the rocket will use, in all, Artemis 1's Space Launch System rocket will use 537,000 gallons of propellant during its launch to the moon. -- Tariq Malik
Artemis 1 moon mission test runs into oxygen snag
NASA has continued its work testing hardware that will fly on the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission later this year. This morning, mission personnel worked to cool oxygen lines in preparation for fuel loading, but as liquid oxygen began flowing into the rocket, teams noticed that the temperature had crept too high and paused the test, which had been targeting a "launch" time of 3:57 p.m. EDT (1957 GMT).
"As teams began the liquid oxygen (LOX) slow fill, a temperature limit was exceeded," Jeremy Parsons, deputy manager of the Exploration Ground Systems team at Kennedy Space Center, wrote in a tweet. "Teams believe they understand the issue and are working a solution that will allow operations to resume. These are all important aspects of test conditions in complex environments."
NASA powers up Artemis 1 rocket's core stage, Orion spacecraft
Overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday (April 12 to April 13), the Artemis 1 team powered up the core stage of the mission's huge Space Launch System rocket as well as its Orion spacecraft, NASA officials wrote in an update Wednesday.
This work is part of the Artemis 1 "wet dress rehearsal," a practice run of critical prelaunch procedures such as rocket fueling. The team remains on track to fill the tanks of the SLS core stage (but not the upper stage) on Thursday (April 14), as planned, agency officials said.
The wet dress is scheduled to wrap up on Thursday. If everything goes well, the Artemis 1 team will then proceed toward gearing up for the mission, which will launch an uncrewed Orion on a journey around the moon, perhaps as early as June.
NASA resumes Artemis 1 moon mission's wet dress rehearsal
NASA has resumed a key prelaunch test of its Artemis 1 moon mission.
The Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal began once again at about 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on Tuesday (April 12), when team members arrived at their stations at the Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
The wet dress will unfold over the next 48 hours, with the big events — fueling of the core stage of Artemis 1's huge Space Launch System rocket, for example, and the performance of several simulated countdowns — occurring on Thursday (April 12).
The weather looks good for tanking operations on Thursday, NASA officials wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
This isn't the first attempt at Artemis 1's wet dress. NASA began the test on April 1 and aimed to finish it on April 3, but technical issues and the April 8 launch of the private Ax-1 astronaut mission pushed things back to Tuesday.
One of the technical issues, a faulty valve on the Artemis 1 mobile launch tower, led to the modification of some wet dress procedures. NASA had originally intended to fuel up both stages of the SLS, for example, but will now focus on tanking just the core stage. Read more in our story here.
NASA resuming Artemis 1 moon rocket test Tuesday
NASA plans to resume the crucial "wet dress rehearsal" of its Artemis 1 moon mission Tuesday (April 12) after a more than weeklong delay.
The test — a practice run of the most important Artemis 1 prelaunch activities, including rocket fueling — began on April 1 and was supposed to wrap up 48 hours later. Technical issues pushed things back a few days, however, and the team then had to stand down for the launch of the Ax-1 private astronaut mission, which lifted off Friday (April 8) from a neighboring launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
But the wet dress is slated to pick up again Tuesday with a "call to stations" at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). The big-ticket items, including fueling of Artemis 1's huge Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, will occur Thursday (April 14), if all goes according to plan.
Only the core stage of the two-stage SLS will be fueled, however. The original plan called for fueling the upper stage as well, but NASA nixed that part after discovering a problem with a valve on Artemis 1's mobile launch tower. Read our full story here.
Artemis is back to work on Saturday
NASA has announced that it will resume work on the Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal, a crucial pre-flight test for the uncrewed moon-circling mission due to launch this summer. The agency began wet dress rehearsal activities on April 1, but had to stop procedures twice. Then, NASA personnel stood down from the rehearsal in order to permit the Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station to launch on Friday (April 8).
Now, NASA has a plan to get back to work on the rocket check. Agency personnel will begin work on Saturday (April 9) at about 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). The Artemis 1 team will work through each task of launch preparations, straight through to just under 10 seconds before what would be launch time on a real flight. If all goes well, the team will reach that "T-0" time on Monday (April 11) at about 2:40 p.m. EDT (1840 GMT), NASA officials wrote in a statement.
NASA halts fueling of Artemis 1 moon rocket due to valve issue
The "wet dress rehearsal" of NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission has hit another snag.
The crucial three-day test was supposed to wrap up Sunday (April 3) with the fueling of Artemis 1's huge Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, but a problem with the fans on its mobile launch tower pushed things back to Monday (April 4). The Artemis 1 team began loading 700,000 gallons of supercold liquid propellants into the rocket on Monday but had to halt after discovering a problem with a vent valve on the mobile launcher.
"Due the vent valve issue, the launch director has called off the test for the day. The team is preparing to offload LOX and will begin discussing how quickly the vehicle can be turned around for the next attempt. A lot of great learning and progress today," NASA's Exploration Ground Systems program said via Twitter Monday afternoon. ("LOX" is liquid oxygen, one of the two SLS propellants. The other is liquid hydrogen.)
Stay tuned for more updates.
NASA sets new Artemis 1 "launch" time of 6:02 p.m. EDT
NASA has set a new "launch" time for its Artemis 1 moon mission — 6:02 p.m. EDT (2202 GMT) today (April 4).
The huge Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule that will fly Artemis 1 won't actually get off the ground today, of course; NASA is currently conducting a "wet dress rehearsal" that simulates many of the activities leading up to launch, including fueling of the SLS. This crucial trial started on Friday afternoon (April 1) and was supposed to wrap up on Sunday (April 3), but several technical issues pushed some work to today.
Keep checking back here for updates. And you can see live video of the SLS-Orion stack on the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center here.
NASA 'go' to fuel Artemis 1 moon rocket
NASA launch controllers cleared the Artemis 1` moon rocket to proceed with "tanking" (or fueling) the Space Launch System booster today at 7:40 a.m. EDT (1140 GMT). Later, officials are expected to give a "go" to actually start the fueling process.
NASA reports that the test team is in a hold currently as they work to resolve an outage with a vendor that provides gaseous nitrogen that is needed for the tanking process.
"Nitrogen is used to prepare for, and during tanking operations, to provide a non-flammable environment inside of the SLS. When the issue is resolved, the countdown clock will pick back up with T-6 hours, 40 minutes on the clock (L-7 hours, 20 minutes) remaining in the countdown, beginning with chilling down the liquid oxygen lines for the core stage," NASA wrote in an update.
Earlier, NASA was targeting a planned T-0 "launch time" of 2:40 p.m. EDT (1840 GMT) in which to conclude today's test. We're awaiting word from NASA if that time will change.
NASA to try Artemis 1 fueling test again
NASA will make a second attempt to fuel the Artemis 1 Space Launch System moon rocket today after a ground systems equipment problem on the rocket's mobile launcher prevented the test on Sunday (April 3).
The Artemis 1 moon rocket is standing atop Pad 39B of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it has been undergoing a critical "wet dress rehearsal" to practice a full launch countdown ahead of its moon mission later this year.
At 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT), the launch control team was expected to meet and review the rocket's status before deciding whether to begin loading fuel at around 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT). If approved, the team would then proceed to fuel the SLS rocket with the 700,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
NASA plans to countdown to a T-0 "liftoff" time of 2:40 p.m. EDT (1840 GMT).
Scrub! NASA calls off Artemis 1 fueling test
NASA has called off its planned "wet dress rehearsal" fueling test of its first Artemis 1 moon rocket over safety concerns with the rocket's mobile launch platform.
NASA announced the scrub on Twitter at 12:06 p.m. EDT (1606 GMT), nearly five hours after fueling was originally scheduled to occur. The reason, NASA officials said, was a pressurization problem on the mobile launcher that houses ground crew systems.
"Teams have decided to scrub tanking operations for the wet dress rehearsal due to loss of ability to pressurize the mobile launcher. The fans are needed to provide positive pressure to the enclosed areas within the mobile launcher and keep out hazardous gases," NASA wrote in an update today. "Technicians are unable to safely proceed with loading the propellants into the rocket’s core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage without this capability."
NASA is now working to determine if ground crews can make another attempt to fuel the Artemis 1 mission's Space Launch System rocket on Monday, April 4.
A media briefing on NASA's plans is expected later today.
Fueling day for Artemis 1 moon rocket
It's fueling day for NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket as the agency nears the main event of its "wet dress rehearsal."
At 6:45 a.m. EDT today, NASA's Artemis 1 launch director gave the "go" to begin fueling the Artemis 1 Space Launch System rocket at 7:20 a.m. EDT (1120 GMT).
Strong storms overnight caused about an hour of delays for crews working at Launch Pad 39B, according to Jeremy Parsons, NASA's deputy manager of the Exploration Ground Systems, who is live Tweeting the test.
Four lightning strikes occurred in the vicinity of the Pad 39B site, including the strongest strike to the pad's protective catenary wire and tower structure designed to shield the Artemis 1 moon rocket from direct lightning hits.
"1 of the strikes last night was the strongest we have seen since we installed the new lightning protection system," Parsons wrote. "It hit the catenary wire that runs between the 3 towers. System performed extremely well & kept SLS and Orion safe. Glad we enhanced protection since Shuttle!"
(1/4) 1 of the strikes last night was the strongest we have seen since we installed the new lightning protection system. It hit the catenary wire that runs between the 3 towers. System performed extremely well & kept SLS and Orion safe. Glad we enhanced protection since Shuttle!April 3, 2022
Artemis 1 SLS rocket core stage powered up for test
NASA's three-day launch countdown and fueling test for its Artemis 1 moon rocket is in full swing, with engineers powering up the Space Launch System's core stage at 3 a.m. EDT (0700 GMT) this morning, NASA reports.
The test, called a "wet dress rehearsal," is practicing launch countdown and fueling procedures for the Space Launch System rocket that will be needed when NASA launches the actual Artemis 1 moon mission with this booster around late May or June.
You can see live views of the Artemis 1 Space Launch System on the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Newsroom YouTube Channel, which is embedded above.
Here's what NASA has on tap for today: "Around 3 a.m. on Saturday April 2, at approximately L-35 hours and 20 minutes, the Artemis I launch control team powered up the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage, which will be loaded with more than 700,000 gallons of propellants during the tanking phase of the countdown. During the day, teams will charge Orion flight batteries, conduct final preparations on umbilical arms, and conduct a final pre-launch walkdown," the agency wrote in a status update.
At 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), NASA will conduct a weather briefing, at which time the agency will release a new update. Jeremy Parsons, NASA's deputy manager of the Exploration Ground Systems program at @NASAKennedy, is providing live updates via the agency's NASA Exploration Ground Systems Twitter account. -- Tariq Malik
Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal press conference
NASA will hold a teleconference today at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) to discuss the agency's critical first fueling test for the Artemis 1 moon rocket currently standing atop Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch it live at the top of our homepage.
Called a "wet dress rehearsal," the multi-day test will begin on April 1 and end on April 3 and serve as a launch day dress rehearsal for NASA's Artemis 1 uncrewed moon mission. Artemis 1 is scheduled to launch no earlier than late May or early June.
Speaking in today's conference will be:
- Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for common exploration systems development, NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director, NASA Exploration Ground Systems program, NASA Kennedy
- John Honeycutt, manager, Space Launch System program, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
- Howard Hu, manager, Orion program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
- Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, NASA Headquarters
Tune in at 1 p.m. EDT to find out more about NASA's Artemis 1 fueling test plans.
There's a rocket there, we promise!
Space.com senior writer Chelsea Gohd is on the scene in foggy early-morning Florida checking out the Artemis 1 rocket on the launch pad. She's live-tweeting the visit so follow along to hear all the latest and see tons more photos:
I see the worm! pic.twitter.com/k4J4WtLNdXMarch 18, 2022
Hey look! It’s Artemis 1 on the launch pad! 😂 pic.twitter.com/SqSS0wnROLMarch 18, 2022
NASA's Artemis 1 megarocket is on the launch pad
It's a milestone space fans have been waiting for for ages: NASA's first Space Launch System (SLS) rocket reached the launch pad in the early morning of Friday (March 18). The rocket will undergo about a month of testing, retreat to the Vehicle Assembly Building, roll out again and launch no earlier than late May.
NASA chief Bill Nelson speaks during Artemis rollout
The Artemis 1 rollout featured an appearance by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who gave a 13-minute speech as the agency's Space Launch System megarocket and Orion capsule rolled slowly by in the background.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the world's most powerful rocket ever right here," Nelson said. "It's back to the moon and then on to Mars!"
Artemis 1 clears the VAB!
The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule that will fly NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission this summer emerge from the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 17, 2022. The SLS-Orion duo are on their way to the launch pad for testing, a 4-mile (6.4 kilometers) journey that's expected to take 11 hours. Read more.
Rollout has begun!
NASA began rolling its Artemis 1 moon mission out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida today (March 17) at 5:47 p.m. EDT (2147 GMT). The agency's crawler-transporter 2 vehicle is carrying the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule on a 4-mile (6.4 kilometers) journey that's expected to take about 11 hours. Read more here.
Artemis 1 rollout is live!
NASA TV has begun livestreaming the rollout of its Artemis 1 moon mission to the launch pad at Florida's Kennedy Space Center for testing. Watch it live and read more here.
NASA opens VAB doors for Artemis 1 rollout
NASA has opened the massive bay doors on the Vehicle Assembly Building to begin today's planned rollout of the first Space Launch System megarocket that will be used to launch the Artemis 1 mission to the moon. Rollout will begin at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).
Space.com Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd is at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida where she is covering the rollout live. Here's some of her photos so far.
Slow and steady is the name of the game today pic.twitter.com/V4uHvuaJ1lMarch 17, 2022
It's rollout day for Artemis 1 moon rocket!
It's finally here: rollout day for NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket.
As Space.com Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd reports, NASA's first Space Launch System megarocket will roll to Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). You'll be able to watch it live at start time on this page and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. It will take up to 12 hours to reach the pad. Gohd is at the Kennedy Space Center and will cover the rollout overnight for Space.com.
The Artemis 1 mission will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the moon no earlier than late May 2022. Today's rollout is a debut of sorts for the rocket and will kick off a month of pad tests that, NASA hopes, will include a "wet dress rehearsal" to fuel the rocket for the first time.
Today's rollout marks the biggest move in years for NASA's massive crawler carrier vehicle as well. The Apollo-era vehicle, originally built to move Saturn V rockets, weighs 5.75 million pounds (2.60 million kilograms) and was used to move NASA space shuttles and the Ares I-X test rocket to the pad.
Space.com's Spaceflight Editor Mike Wall has this explainer of the crawler carrier vehicle.
Artemis 1 rollout media teleconference today
Today (March 14), NASA will be hosting a live media teleconference discussing the details of the upcoming rollout of the Artemis 1 vehicles.
Rollout of the vehicles, the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and the Orion spacecraft, will take place on Thursday (March 17) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The pair will be carried by the agency's crawler-transporter 2 vehicle on a slow, 4-mile journey to Launch Pad 39B.
Join the media teleconference live today at 5:30 EST (2230 GMT) at Space.com or directly via the agency's Youtube channel. You can watch the event live at the video above.
Send your name around the moon on Artemis 1
You can send your name around the moon on NASA's Artemis 1 mission, an uncrewed flight that's scheduled to launch in May or June. Just sign up for a free "boarding pass" at this NASA page — that's all there is to it! Read more here.
Artemis 1 rocket rollout set for March 17 for May launch
In a press conference today, NASA announced that it will roll out the Artemis 1 moon rocket, the agency's first Space Launch System megarocket, on March 17 at the Kennedy Space Center in a major milestone for the agency's return to the moon.
Artemis 1 will roll out to Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center for up to a month of pad tests and a "wet dress rehearsal" in which the rocket will be fueled as if for launch. The tests will set the stage for an Artemis 1 launch sometime in May 2022, but that could slip to June or July, NASA officials said today.
You can read the full story, including details on the wet dress rehearsal, rollout and launch window plans, in our wrap story by Mike Wall.
NASA Artemis 1 mission update today
Update for 1:30 pm ET: NASA is now targeting 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT) for its press teleconference today on the Artemis 1 moon mission update.
NASA will hold a live teleconference today to discuss its plans to launch the Artemis 1 moon mission as early as April. The teleconference will begin at 1:30 pm ET (2030 GMT) today and you can listen in live here.
Artemis 1 is NASA's first mission to the moon under the agency's Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the moon by around 2025 or so. That crewed moon landing will occur on the Artemis 3 mission.
As the first to fly, Artemis 1 will not carry a crew, but will fly on a trip around the moon with instruments, cubesats and more aboard. The mission will use the new Space Launch System to launch an Orion space capsule to the moon and back.
The rollout of that SLS moon rocket is expected sometime in March, with NASA due to give an update on that process today.
NASA fires up Artemis 1 moon rocket's first-stage engines again
NASA appears to have ironed out the kinks with the core-stage engines of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will launch the Artemis 1 moon mission this spring.
A faulty controller on one of the SLS core-stage engines required some troubleshooting recently, pushing the launch of Artemis 1 — an uncrewed journey around the moon — back to April. Those fixes appeared to work, for the SLS core stage engines performed as expected during a recent series of tests, NASA officials announced on Friday (Feb. 18). Read our story about these developments here.
And speaking of developments: We're going to get another Artemis 1 update soon. NASA will hold a media teleconference on Thursday (Feb. 24) at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) to discuss the latest progress toward launch. You can listen to it live Thursday here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency.
Artemis 1 rollout delayed, NASA says
NASA's first Artemis moon mission will launch a little later than expected.
Today (Feb. 2), NASA announced that the rollout of its Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion capsule will be pushed from February to March, though the agency has yet to announce an exact date.
"Ultimately, we're going to launch this flight hardware when the flight hardware is ready and when the team's ready," Mike Bolger, the program manager of exploration ground systems at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, told Space.com during a news conference held today.
While the exact rollout date and new launch date have not yet been announced, Mike Sarafin, the Artemis 1 mission manager at NASA Headquarters, said during the news conference that if the launch is pushed to April or May, a launch window would extend from April 8 to April 23; another would open May 7 and close May 21.
Learn more at Space.com here.
Artemis 1 status briefing starts soon
NASA officials are holding a news conference today (Feb. 2) at 12 p.m. EST (1700 GMT) to discuss the delayed rollout of the SLS rocket. You can listen to the teleconference live in the window above, courtesy of NASA.
"While the teams are not working any major issues, NASA has added additional time to complete closeout activities inside the VAB [Vehicle Assembly Building] prior to rolling the rocket out for the first time," agency officials wrote in a statement.
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