NASA to launch most powerful rocket in the world; Artemis mission creates jobs across Florida coast

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — NASA is hoping a third time’s the charm. After two scrubbed launches and two weather delays, NASA aims to launch its SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft Wednesday Nov. 16 at 1:04 a.m.

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The Artemis mission is especially historic, and it’s happening in Jacksonville’s back yard: the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

“We’re going back to the moon, we haven’t done that in over 50 years,” says Recovery Director for Artemis 1 in NASA, Melissa Jones. “You really do feel a different type of excitement when you’re here.”

Jones explained there are thousands of people working on the Artemis mission in some capacity. She says people are moving from across the country, coming to Florida, just so they can work and be a part of this mission. NASA says every state in America has contributed to building Artemis, specifically companies working to build the systems that will help establish a long-term human presence on the moon.

Artemis I will launch an uncrewed flight test around the moon.

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The Space Launch System rocket, also referred to as the SLS, is the most powerful rocket in the world, designed to send humans to deep space, according to NASA.

NASA says Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence on the moon for decades to come.

“The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II,” explains NASA on its Artemis mission website.

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NASA Artemis I mission facts:

  • Mission duration: 25 days, 11 hours, 36 minutes
  • Total distance traveled: 1.3 million miles
  • Re-entry speed: 24,500 mph (Mach 32)
  • Splashdown: Dec. 11, 2022

You can watch the Artemis I launch live on Action News Jax at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 or online HERE.

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