Will take off, won’t take off? Very ambitious but also extremely complex, the Artemis I mission may be able to begin after two failures and two consecutive postponements. Indeed, this Wednesday, November 16, NASA will again attempt to launch its gigantic SLS rocket and its Orion spacecraft towards the Moon. And as usual, the American agency will broadcast the event live. Here is all the information you need to make sure you don’t miss anything from this historic start.
What time to see the launch?
The launch will take place during a 120-minute firing window which will open this Wednesday, November 16 at 7:04 a.m. (French time, it will be 1:04 a.m. in Florida). But if the rocket will take off between 7:04 a.m. and 9:04 a.m., the live coverage of the event organized by NASA will begin this Tuesday, November 15 at 9:30 p.m., with the refueling of the rocket, and will end tomorrow at 4 p.m. with the first images sent by the Orion spacecraft. You can find the full schedule on the agency’s website.
Several options are available to you to follow the launch of the SLS live. There is of course the NASA YouTube channel, to be found below:
However, as the comments are in English and sometimes very technical, this is not the option we recommend. We recommend instead the Twitch live coverage of CNES, the National Center for Space Studies, a public institution in charge of the French space program.
Beginning Wednesday, November 16 at 6:30 a.m., the live will be hosted by Sylvain Charrier, editor-in-chief of the CNES site, and Alice Thomas, video content creator. For the occasion, the two presenters will be accompanied by Nathalie Girard, the CNES space transport expert. Apart from the launch itself, the team will address several topics, including the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft, the Artemis program and its ambitions, and Franco-American space cooperation.
Need a booster shot?
As a reminder, NASA’s first two launch attempts all ended in countdown interruptions, first due to a temperature sensor issue, then due to a liquid hydrogen leak. The curse does not stop there for the American agency, since the two following attempts had to be postponed to avoid Hurricane Ian at the end of September, then Hurricane Nicole at the end of last week.
If the rocket manages to take off this time, it will finally be able to launch the Orion spaceship (unmanned) towards the Moon to allow it to place itself in orbit for a few days before returning to Earth. Test gallop for the SLS rocket, the objective of this mission called Artemis I is to check the equipment and flight paths in order to prepare the Artemis II mission, which this time will be manned. The astronaut team will make exactly the same trip as during the first mission and they will not set foot on the Moon.
For that, we will have to wait for Artemis III in 2024 at the earliest. At that time, the objective will be much more ambitious, since the team sent will have the mission of establishing a permanent human presence on our natural satellite. It will not only be a question of building a lunar base, but also a transit space station called Gateway. All this in order to pave the way for the exploration of the planet Mars.