NASA will send an unmanned space capsule into lunar orbit on Monday, marking the initial launch of an ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon for scientific discovery and economic development.
The space capsule, called Artemis 1, will travel for about 40 days, reaching up to 60 miles from the moon, and then 40,000 miles above the moon as it orbits its dark side, before landing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast. of San Diego.
Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, the White House said Friday. At least 100,000 people will also look at the beaches along Cape Canaveral as the shuttle takes off, Florida tourism officials have estimated.
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If the launch is successful, NASA will send a crew to lunar orbit on Artemis 2 in 2024. Eventually, the Artemis expedition as a whole could lead to the first manned space voyage to Mars, NASA says.
Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s launch:
When is the launch?
A two-hour launch window begins Monday at 8:33 am ET, which means the launch could take place at any time during the next two-hour period. But the launch may not take place on Monday morning, as NASA adheres to a strict set of weather criteria that determine whether a flight can proceed.
Meteorologists with the US Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 have predicted a 70% chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch window on Monday morning, according to a NASA blog post on Thursday.
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The launch will be postponed, for example, if the temperature at 132.5 feet 257.5 feet exceeds 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 consecutive minutes. NASA imposes additional weather restrictions, some of which are dependent on wind and humidity conditions.
If the launch does not take place on Monday, a second two-hour launch wind will begin on Friday, September 2 at 12:38 am ET. If NASA postpones the second launch, a third two-hour window will begin Monday, September 5 at 5:12 PM ET.
How do you look at the launch?
ABC News will broadcast the launch live on Monday. Coverage will begin around 8:30 am ET, just when the time window begins. ABC News may not air from launch if take-off is postponed before the time window begins.
Additionally, NASA will broadcast the launch on its website. Eager viewers can watch an ongoing live stream of the launch site on YouTube.
What will the launch event entail?
The NASA launch live broadcast will include celebrity appearances from Jack Black, Chris Evans and Keke Palmer, as well as a special performance of Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock’s “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
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The event also includes a performance of “America the Beautiful” by the Philadelphia Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
When is the shuttle back?
If the capsule takes off Monday morning, the mission will last 42 days, after which the capsule will drop into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on October 10 at 11:53 am ET.
If the capsule takes off during the second launch window on September 2, the mission will last 39 days with a splashdown in the Pacific on October 11; while a launch during the third window, on September 5th, will last 42 days and end on October 17th.
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What are the prospects for the Artemis expedition?
Overall, the Artemis expedition comprises four missions, each of which will cost approximately $ 4.1 billion. In all, the project will cost up to $ 93 billion by 2025, according to an audit by NASA’s Inspector General’s Office.
If Artemis 1 is successful, Artemis 2 will bring four astronauts close to the moon in 2024. Thereafter, Artemis 3 will take a manned shuttle for a moon landing. Finally, Artemis 4 will fly to a space station near the moon.
NASA hopes that the Artemis expedition will allow a manned trip to Mars in the following years.
NASA’s unmanned lunar mission scheduled for launch originally appeared on abcnews.go.com