NASA’s Artemis I Rocket Successfully Launches Into Outer Space

Artemis I Takeoff

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

A new era in space exploration has begun thanks to the successful launch of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). The rocket, which is the most powerful in the world, took off from the Kennedy Space Center on November 16, 2022, as part of the Artemis I mission. The rocket is carrying the Orion spacecraft 40,000 miles beyond the Moon before it returns back to Earth on December 11. To celebrate the event, NASA has released photos from its official photographers on Flickr.

The images show the palpable excitement as crowds wait for the launch and the jubilation when SLS finally takes to the sky. As the launch had been called off several other times due to weather or technical failures, NASA officials were ecstatic to see the rocket take off.

“What an incredible sight to see NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft launch together for the first time. This uncrewed flight test will push Orion to the limits in the rigors of deep space, helping us prepare for human exploration on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

Artemis I Rocket Launch

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Artemis I is part of NASA's mission to explore the Moon and Mars. The goal of this crewless mission is to pave the way for humans to return to the Moon during the Artemis II mission. Orion is the partially reusable spacecraft that will be able to take humans farther into space than ever before. Traveling at speeds of up to 25,000 miles per hour, Orion will perform a series of tests during its time in orbit. These tests will help ensure the safety of astronauts during future crewed missions.

Thus far, Orion has deployed its solar arrays and has been performing system tests. After a series of burns to propel it forward, it should pass the Moon on November 21. Along the way, NASA mission controllers will be monitoring its progress and making any necessary course corrections.

“The Space Launch System rocket delivered the power and performance to send Orion on its way to the Moon,” says Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager. “With the accomplishment of the first major milestone of the mission, Orion will now embark on the next phase to test its systems and prepare for future missions with astronauts.”

On November 16, the Artemis I rocket to the Moon successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

Artemis I Rocket Waiting For Takeoff Under the Moon

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Artemis I Launch

Photo: NASA/Keegan Barber

Artemis I on Launchpad

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Space Launch System carried the Orion spacecraft to the Moon and beyond as thrilled crowds watched the historic event.

Crowd Watching Artemis I Rocket Launch

Photo: NASA/Keegan Barber

People Taking Photos of Artemis I Rocket Launch

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Kids Waiting For Artemis I Rocket Launch

Photo: NASA/Keegan Barber

After several attempts were called off due to bad weather and technical issues, NASA officially moved into a new era of space exploration thanks to the successful launch.

NASA Artemis I Launch

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Artemis I Launch

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Artemis I Rocket Taking Off

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Orion will travel 40,000 miles beyond the Moon before returning to Earth in mid-December.

Artemis I Takeoff

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Artemis I Launch

NASA Artemis I Launch

Photo: NASA/Keegan Barber

Along the way, it will perform a series of tests to ensure safety for future crewed missions to the Moon.

Fire from Artemis Engines During Launch

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Trail of Smoke After Artemis Launch

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Trail of Fire After Artemis I Launch

Photo: NASA/Keegan Barber

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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