Artemis I'm coming back for the launch

Artemis I’m coming back for the launch

science and exploration

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In short

The SLS mega lunar rocket is on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, preparing to launch the Orion spacecraft and its European service module. The first launch opportunity is November 16 at 07:04 CET (06:04 GMT, 01:04 local time).

In depth

Artemis I step by step

Artemis I is the first mission of a vast program aiming to send astronauts around and on the Moon in a sustainable way. This first uncrewed launch will see the Orion spacecraft travel to the Moon, enter an elongated orbit around our satellite, and then return to Earth, powered by the European-built module which provides power, propulsion, fuel, water and air while keeping the spacecraft running at the right temperature.

Artemis at the Moon

European Service Modules are made from components supplied by more than 20 companies in ten ESA Member States and the United States. While the first European service module sits atop the SLS rocket on the launch pad, the second is only 8 km away and is integrated into the Orion crew capsule for the first crewed mission – Artemis II. The third and fourth European Service Modules – which will propel astronauts to a moon landing – are in production in Bremen, Germany.

Orion: take off

The Artemis program is an international endeavor to build a permanent outpost around and on the Moon. Modules for the Lunar Gateway are being built in the United States and Europe, with the first European module – International Habitat – in production in Turin, Italy, and ready for launch of the fourth Artemis mission alongside the spacecraft. space Orion.

Artemis’ first launch this week is without humans, but three mannequins have been placed in the spacecraft’s seats to conduct scientific research. Equipped with more than 5,600 sensors, two mannequins will measure the amount of radiation astronauts could be exposed to on future missions with unprecedented accuracy. ESA is also including active radiation dosimeters in the crew module to get more data on how radiation levels change during a mission to the Moon – building on the leadership developed during decades of radiation research on the International Space Station.


With a launch on November 16, the three-week Artemis I mission would end on December 11 with a dip in the Pacific Ocean. The European Service Module detaches from Orion’s Crew Module prior to splashdown and burns harmlessly in the atmosphere, its job done after taking Orion to the Moon and returning safely.

Backup Artemis I launch dates include November 19. Check ESA’s Orion blog for updates and more details. Follow the launch live on ESA Web TV.

Artemis I – European Service Module Perspective

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