NASA has adjusted the demonstration test and launch date of the Artemis I mission after several delays due to technical problems.
Prior to the launch, NASA will conduct the demonstration test on September 21, 2022. If successful, the US space agency will blast off to the Moon as early as September 27, 2022, with a potential backup opportunity on October 2, 2022.
“The updated dates represent careful consideration of multiple logistical topics, including the additional value of having more time to prepare for the cryogenic demonstration test, and subsequently more time to prepare for the launch,” NASA said in a statement.
Initially, NASA had planned to launch its rocket on August 29, 2022.
The Artemis I mission is the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, intended to test both Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) ahead of the crewed launch. The spacecraft is composed of the European Service Module manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space and the Crew Module designed by Lockheed Martin.
With Artemis II, the space agency plans to launch the first crewed mission around the Moon, sending astronauts aboard Orion further into space than any humans have ever traveled before, roughly 40,000 miles past the Moon, before returning home.
The next mission, Artemis III, is planned to be the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972 and would see the first woman and person of color land on the Moon. The initial roadmap aimed to land astronauts on the Moon by the end of 2024 but has been formally pushed back until at least 2025.
The Artemis program is the first step in NASA’s next phase of human space exploration, with plans to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars.