NASA’S New Moon Rocket Lifts Off 50 Years After Apollo

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Things were a little shaky at first, but eventually, NASA got its new moon rocket off the ground. Now, it is headed straight for the moon, which the rocket will circle before heading back.

The lunar program is known as Artemis and this is a test flight with mannequins — as opposed to living, breathing astronauts — on board.

It took a while, of course. Two hurricanes and several technical glitches will do that to a rocket launch. But after a couple of months of waiting, the rocket began its journey, with the capsule Orion expected to come within about 80 miles of the moon’s surface.

“For once, I might be speechless,” launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson told her team at Kennedy Space Center, after they had sent the rocket on its way, via NPR. “You have earned your place in history. You’re part of a first. It doesn’t come along very often, once in a career maybe. But we are all part of something incredibly special.”

NASA’S New Moon Rocket Lifts Off

All of this is intended to assist NASA in its mission to return humans to the moon’s surface, just as it did 50 years ago with Apollo. It is now presumably one giant step closer.

“I’m telling you, we’ve never seen such a tail of flame. There were a bunch there that would like to be on that rocket,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson told reporters.

At some point, and soon, humans may be.

“If all goes well, the capsule will return to Earth faster and hotter than any human-rated spacecraft ever. It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11, off the coast of San Diego, Calif.,” NPR relayed. “And in just a couple of years, this massive rocket and the capsule could be blasting off with people on board.”

Read More: NASA Shares Wild Photo of ‘Smiling’ Orange Sun

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