Preparing for the Launch of Artemis I

NASA’s Artemis I moon mission is scheduled to launch on August 29, providing the first integrated test of its new deep-space exploration systems: the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the Orion spacecraft, and supporting ground systems. At launch, the SLS will become the most powerful rocket ever, producing 15 percent more thrust than the Apollo-era Saturn V rocket. Though uncrewed, the Artemis I mission will carry three test mannequins in the Orion crew module to measure stresses and the effects of radiation during its trip to lunar orbit, returning to Earth 42 days later. The next mission will be Artemis II, a crewed mission to lunar orbit, planned for May of 2024—and Artemis III is scheduled to land humans on the lunar surface once again in 2025. Gathered here, photographs of some of the work put into SLS, Orion, and supporting programs in recent years, as launch day approaches.

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