NASA's $12.2 billion Orion spaceship is ready to be attached to a rocket - Daily Mail
Oct 20, 2021 2 mins, 15 secs

For its upcoming flight, Orion will fly around the moon without astronauts as part of a plan to return humans to the lunar surface later this decade.

The spacecraft was moved between buildings at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday, and is now due to be lifted on to the most powerful rocket in the world, the Space Launch System (SLS). .

The first mission, called Artemis-1, will fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown, as it tests the SLS and Orion before astronauts are allowed to crew Artemis-2 for a loop around the moon at the end of 2023. .

For its upcoming flight, Orion will fly around the moon without astronauts as part of a plan to return people to the lunar surface later this decade.

The spacecraft was moved between buildings at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday, and is due to be lifted on to the most powerful rocket in the world, the Space Launch System.

NASA's Orion, stacked on a Space Launch System rocket capable of lifting 70 metric tons, will first launch from Kennedy Space Center later this year or in early 2022.

Following the uncrewed space flight test, the first crew will launch to the moon, before astronauts on Artemis-3 land on it again by 2024 at the earliest. .

The Orion spacecraft that will be used on Artemis-1 was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) after being housed at another facility at the Cape Canaveral site

It could launch this year or in early 2022 and is part of the Artemis programme, named after the sister of Apollo, which aims to create a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028

The Orion spacecraft that will be used on Artemis-1 was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building after being housed at another facility at the Cape Canaveral site

The Space Launch System rocket has also faced a number of delays, putting the launch window at risk. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the moon and beyond. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space

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