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NASA Launches Historic Artemis 1 Space Mission

NASA Launches Historic Artemis 1 Space Mission

NASA Launches Historic Artemis 1 Space Mission

Contributing Writer

December 8, 2022

J.T. Popp '26

The Orion spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Houston, Texas on November 16, marking the start of the much-anticipated Artemis 1 mission.

NASA began its plans for the Artemis 1 mission in 2005. Formally known as the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Orion spacecraft — which boasts a height and a diameter of 13 feet and weighs approximately 29,000 pounds — was designed specifically for the Artemis program. The spacecraft consists of a small crew and service module which serves as the source of propulsion and power for the spacecraft.

The Artemis 1 mission is part of the Artemis program, which is a sequential series of missions planned for the upcoming decade. According to NASA, the exploration aims to “demonstrate [their] commitment and capability to [extending] human existence to the Moon.” “There’s a lot of interesting science that can be done on the moon, especially into the history of earth and the solar system as a whole. The lack of an atmosphere means things get pretty preserved on the moon. Also, the moon has a lot of interesting resources, including tons of metals, [which might] lead to the possibility of a colony that can build and fuel a settlement without relying on shipments from Earth,” says Alex Repikov ’23, head of Astronomy club.

The Artemis 1 mission will take around 25 days and provide important information for future Artemis missions that will help advance NASA’s research and investment in space technology. For example, the new Space Launching System (SLS), which is more powerful than any propulsion method to date, will be tested for the first time.

NASA plans to launch another four Artemis missions. In 2024, the Orion spacecraft will take off for the second time with four crew members. NASA plans to send the first woman and person of color to the moon as part of the Artemis 3 in 2025 and visit the Lunar Gateway, an orbiting space station, in 2027.

The Artemis 1 mission marks an important milestone in the history of space exploration. Repikov said, “This launch marks the first time that NASA (or anybody really) has seriously tried to put somebody on the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.” NASA also aspires to put humans on Mars.

According to CNN, as of November 28, the Orion Spacecraft has traveled more than 40,000 miles past the far side of the moon, surpassing the distance covered in the Apollo 13 expedition. Much of the spacecraft’s ability to travel this far can be attributed to the new SLS. This ability to fly farther opens up a wide range of possibilities for further space exploration.

J.T. Popp is a contributing writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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