NASA targets late August to early September launch for Artemis 1 Moon mission

NASA has set an aggressive launch target for its pursuit of the SLS rocket that will carry the flight into space. In conversation with , Jim Free, deputy administrator of the agency’s Explorations Systems Development program, said this week NASA is working on an Aug. 23-September 6 launch window for Aretmis 1. “That’s what we’re aiming for,” Free told the outlet. “We would be fools not to target this now. We made incredible progress last week.”

For those keeping track, NASA was recently able to launch Artemis 1 into space between July 26 and August 10 at the earliest after a successful refueling test of the SLS. Instead, NASA chose the second earliest launch window open to it.

Before the flight can begin, technicians must complete final preparations on the SLS rocket, including replacing a seal that caused a hydrogen leak during testing on June 20. NASA began taxiing the SLS back to Kennedy Space Center’s vehicle assembly building, where personnel will work on the launch vehicle. “I don’t think we’re making any effort to get there,” Free said. “We’re probably overdoing ourselves a bit, but we’re not going to do anything stupid.”

Once Artemis 1 is finally underway, it will carry an unmanned journey around the moon to study how the flight might affect the human body. Artemis II will later carry four astronauts to the satellite ahead of a planned lunar landing sometime in the second half of the decade.

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