NASA's Artemis I launch has the world excited for Monday
Rain and thunderstorms raged across the sky on Saturday, two days before NASA's Artemis I, the largest and most powerful space rocket launch to the Moon to date.
However, that did not deter Artemis I from being scheduled to launch from the Space Agencies Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, August 29.
There were three lightning strikes to the lightning protection system towers at Launch Pad 39B – a strike to Tower 1 and two strikes to Tower 2, according to a blog published on the Space Agencies' official website on Saturday.
"The test combat itself carries inherent risk," Jim Free, NASA's deputy administrator for intelligence systems development, said at a press conference on August 22.
"This is the first flight of a new rocket and a new spacecraft."
However, this may not deter people from applauding the launch.
The buzz and excitement will see a spectacular show of fire, expected to draw hundreds of thousands of spectators to Florida's space coast, The Guardian reported on Sunday.
This exploration will be the second mission to the Moon since 1972, when its biggest rocket, the Saturn V, took Apollo astronauts to the Moon.
NASA plans to live-telecast the takeoff through its Youtube channel for the world to see.
The space agency will host a series of Artemis I webcasts this week and next leading up to the un-crewed launch of NASA's first Space Launch System, as per space.com.
The grand plan
The mission, which is to take off from Pad 39B, will send an uncrewed Orion Spacecraft on a six-week trip to the lunar orbit and back. It is a precursor to Artemis II and Artemis III, which will return humans to lunar orbit and the lunar surface.
The grand plan is to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon and understand how to do the same on Mars.
Ten CubeSats in total are traveling aboard Artemis I, three of which are radiation-focused. A "space weather station" for detecting particles and magnetic fields, an imaging equipment to be placed near the Earth-moon Lagrange Point 2 to gauge radiation in Earth's plasmasphere, and a study of single-celled yeast to determine how deep-space radiation affects living things.
Other CubeSats will use infrared cameras to scan the lunar surface for water and near-surface hydrogen in the permanently shadowed areas around the lunar south pole.
First woman Astronaut to be on the Moon
By the end of 2025, NASA will send two astronauts—including the first woman—to land at the Moon's south pole while up to two others will stay in lunar orbit in a command module after Artemis I's successful return.
The first woman and the second man to walk on the Moon could do so at 13 distinct locations around the lunar south pole aboard the Artemis III.
This will be the first mission of its kind. "It's a long way away from the Apollo sites," Sarah Noble, Artemis I lunar science lead for NASA's Planetary Science Division, told CNN.
"All six Apollo landing sites were in the sort of central part of the near side (of the Moon). And now we're going to someplace completely different in ancient geologic terrain."
Artemis I is scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39B on Monday at 8:33 a.m. EDT (1233 GMT).
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