Artemis I Launch Postponed

What to Look Forward To


Illustration credit to Matt Chinworth

Emily Clark, Reporter

Artemis I will be a test flight going beyond the Earth and the Moon for 4-6 weeks. NASA’s Artemis I rocket launch has been postponed twice now. These delays on August 29th and September 4th were both due to engine setbacks. The earliest window for the launch of this moon mission would be September 19th, but it will likely slip into October.

The delays are a bit underwhelming, but the upcoming moon mission leaves a lot to look forward to!

Artemis I is the foundation for future Artemis II and Artemis III missions. By 2025, NASA plans to have not only the first woman, but also the first person of color to step foot on the moon. This is all taking place over a half-century since the latest Apollo 17 moon mission. During the Artemis I flight, mannequins with thousands of sensors and protective radiation vests will be present to see how an astronaut would respond to the same conditions. Radiation is more harmful to women’s bodies than to men’s bodies, so heavy precautions must be taken before sending the first woman to the moon.

But why is NASA going back to the moon in the first place? There is still much to learn from space, and NASA has access to technology much greater than at the time of the last 1972 mission, so the limitations on what researchers can learn are sky high. Besides, NASA’s got to put this 394 ft beast of a rocket to use somehow. The more we know about one planet, the more we can make the jump to another, like Mars. 

Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator, says, “It’s a future where NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon, and on these increasingly complex missions, astronauts will live and work deep in space and will develop the science and technology to send the first humans to Mars.” The Artemis I mission will be the first step for NASA to make these goals a reality.