Artemis I takes flight in historic launch

NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft launches from Launch Complex 39B,...
NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft launches from Launch Complex 39B, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The uncrewed Artemis I flight test launched at 1:47 a.m. ET, and will serve as an end-to-end test of the launch system and spacecraft's capabilities. (Photo credit: John Grant)(PRNewswire)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 3:31 AM CST

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Artemis I mission took flight at 12:45 Wednesday morning after several attempts through the last few months. The Space Launch System (SLS) sent an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon, preparing NASA to bring astronauts back to the lunar surface.

Rocket scientists and enthusiasts crowded the Space and Rocket Center to watch the historic flight. This was the third attempt to launch the Orion spacecraft, The mission team saw several setbacks like technical issues with the rocket and two hurricanes that rolled through the launch site. The Artemis I team almost dealt with another failed launch attempt. According to CNN, they were having problems fueling the SLS rocket with superchilled liquid hydrogen. The problem came up again on Tuesday when the team was preparing for Wednesday’s flight. The repair team fixed leak issues by tightening up some nuts and bolts and they sent the rocket into space.

Scientists from Rocket City had a heavy hand in the project. The mega-rocket was designed at Huntsville’s NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The first stages of the SLS were built at Dynetics in Huntsville, then United Launch Alliance in Decatur under contract with Boeing. Then, parts of the stage were built at Marshall Space Flight Center. Lastly, the launch vehicle’s avionics or the ‘brains’ of the rocket were also developed at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Artemis II is scheduled to bring astronauts, including the first woman and person of color, to the moon in 2024