Science

A blood moon rises over the Artemis 1 mega rocket about to launch in stunning photos

The Blood Moon had recently risen, beckoning a NASA rocket to join it in space.

Last week’s “Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse was visible over the Artemis 1 rocket on Nov. 8, providing an epic glimpse of the mission’s final destination. Artemis 1 is scheduled to fly around the Moon after launch no earlier than Wednesday (November 16) at 1:04 a.m. EST (06:04 a.m.) with the Space Launch System (SLS) mega-rocket lifting the Orion spacecraft for a circular flight. lunar journey.

Both NASA and United Launch Alliance, which built the SLS, filmed red moonrise footage over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B, where Artemis 1 is awaiting final approval for its launch.

NASA will provide an update on Monday (November 14) around 1800 ET (2300 GMT) on whether the agency is ready to move on to the final countdown. You can listen to the call on Space.com and follow the mission news in real time.

Related: NASA delays Artemis 1 moon launch to Nov 16 due to Tropical Storm Nicole

It’s been a tough week for the rocket, which was left on the launch pad as Tropical Storm Nicole, which arrived as a hurricane, swept across coastal Florida. Agency officials say the rocket is safe to fly despite being exposed to strong winds and sustaining minor damage during the storm.

The Artemis 1 stack moved between Launch Pad 39B and the Vehicle Assembly Building several times due to issues such as a fuel leak and the approach of another hurricane, Hurricane Yan. When launched, it will be the first mission of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program.

A blurry view of the Artemis 1 lunar megarocket on launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on November 8, 2022, with the Blood Moon overhead. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kouski)

Artemis plans to go to the moon in the 2020s. The current schedule calls for the launch of Artemis 2 in 2024 with astronauts on board to fly around the moon, and Artemis 3 will take astronauts to the surface in 2025 or 2026.

Artemis 1 is expected to last 26 days if launched on Wednesday. Orbital dynamics may change the duration of the mission if it is launched on other days. The current backup dates after Wednesday are Saturday (November 19) and November 25.

Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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