orion capsule

Learn More About Artemis on the Space Coast

Photo Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA has big plans for the Artemis Program over the next 10+ years

 

Launching from the historic LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center, Artemis 1 will test NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) and Boeing’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) as it orbits Earth and then the moon before its return. 

Integrated rocket testing checklist with testing steps and numbers 10-7 checked off with 6-1 blank
Integrated Testing for the SLS Rocket, Orion Spacecraft and Ground Systems checklist from NASA (Dec 17, 2021)

Testing is currently underway, and NASA expects to roll the SLS/Orion stack out to the launch pad for more testing soon. Here's a full overview of the Artemis 1 mission:

NASA Infographic laying out the planned Artemis 1 mission around the Moon
Planned Artemis 1 flight plan infographic from NASA

The Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) are the first parts of the Gateway, a space station that will orbit the moon and be the jumping-off point for lunar surface missions. Numerous support missions will continue to deliver pieces of the outpost until completion.

In 2024, Artemis 2 will be a 10-day crewed test flight that will set the record for farthest human travel from Earth, will validate deep space communication and navigation systems, and test life support systems.

NASA B-Roll Screenshot of Artist Rendered Gateway
NASA B-Roll Screenshot of Artist Rendered Gateway
Credit: NASA

 

Artemis 3, in 2025, will use all the knowledge gained from the first two tests and put the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface.

Over the next few years, the Space Coast will be host to many events and launch viewings that celebrate this exciting time in human history, and you're not going to want to miss out. 

Illustration of NASA Astronauts on the lunar South Pole
Illustration of NASA Astronauts on the lunar South Pole from NASA

Space Coast Operations

Artemis is a massive undertaking, and it takes teams from all of NASA's operations to get these missions off the ground. The Space Coast’s Kennedy Space Center is no exception. After traveling around Florida from Alabama, the SLS has been assembled at Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and the Orion spacecraft has been attached to the rocket. Testing is underway for the Spring 2022 launch! 

Here are some ways Kennedy Space Center is supporting the Artemis missions:

  • Exploration Ground Systems: develops and operates the systems and facilities necessary to process and launch rockets and spacecraft during assembly, transport, and launch. 
    • Launch Control Center: Home of the Young-Crippen Firing Room (Firing Room 1), this is where NASA will use their new Launch Control System to communicate with astronauts inside the Orion Spacecraft and oversee the Artemis mission launches.
    • Launch Pad 39B: the historic launch pad that supported Apollo and Shuttle missions and now the Artemis missions.
  • The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Your gateway to space. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex lets guests explore every era of America’s Space Program from Mercury and Apollo, to Mars Landers, Artemis, and beyond with the upcoming Gateway to Space. See a Saturn V rocket, touch a piece of the moon, and marvel at the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis.

NASA's SLS

It’s not just Kennedy Space Center that is supporting the Artemis mission though. Florida’s Space Coast is home to over 20 companies supporting the development and building of the Orion spacecraft.

Check out this map of NASA partners contributing to the Artemis program on the Space Coast.