Launch Pad: Artemis I

Each month, in our Launch Pad series we cover notable spaceflight missions set to lift off soon.

NASA’s uncrewed Artemis I flight will journey roughly 280,000 miles to the Moon and beyond for the first integrated test flight of NASA’s deep space exploration systems. Get the scoop on this historic mission in this Launch Pad post.

At a glance

  • Tentative launch date: Under review
  • Launch site: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • Launch vehicle: NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS)
  • Destination: The Moon and beyond

About the mission

On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong took the first giant leap for mankind when he became the first person to set foot upon the lunar surface. Just three years later, in Dec. 1972, Eugene Cernan became the last man to set foot upon the Moon.

It’s been over half a century since we left, but this year, Artemis I will launch a return to the Moon and pave the way for crewed missions to the lunar surface and beyond.

The highly anticipated Artemis I mission is about to launch. It will be the ultimate test for NASA’s Orion spacecraft and SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket. Artemis I is an uncrewed flight, so this time there will be no astronauts along for the ride, and no lunar landing.

However, the mission will release several CubeSats, shoebox-sized satellites, that will conduct a wide range of technology demonstrations and scientific investigations that will help NASA plan a return to the lunar surface and prepare for exploration beyond the Moon.

Upon successful completion of the test flight, the Orion capsule will have journeyed farther than any other human spacecraft has ever traveled. Artemis I will be the first small step in NASA’s next giant leap of returning the next man and the first woman to the Moon’s surface by 2025.

Stay tuned for more updates and don’t miss our Artemis I Launch Watch Party! In the meantime, take a look at our other articles on the upcoming Artemis I mission below.

Last updated: Sept. 8, 2022

Artemis Exhibit – Now Open

Explore our new permanent Artemis exhibit and learn about humanity’s next giant leap.

Walk through lighted panels that tell the story of Artemis, NASA’s space program that will return humans to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years.

Touch the layers of a moonwalking spacesuit, feel the difference between an Artemis and Apollo lunar landing site, design your very own mission patch and more!

Learn more

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