NASA launched its first return to the moon in over 50 years.
The Artemis I Moon Rocket launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 16 at 1:49 a.m. Eastern time.
After repeated delays caused by fuel leaks, hurricanes, and a slew of other issues, the rocket finally made its way into orbit.
The Artemis I launch will mark the United States’ return to the moon in over 50 years since the last Apollo program ended in 1972.
Artemis I’s journey will involve entering an elliptical orbit of the Moon, traveling a total of 1.3 million miles round-trip.
The mission is scheduled to last 25 days and will return to Earth on Dec. 11, 2022.
There will be three phases of the Artemis program — Artemis I, Artemis II and Artemis III. Artemis I is an uncrewed launch to test the components of the new Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion Spacecraft for future crew flights.
The Artemis II mission is slated to take four crew members in 2024 and Artemis III is slated to take two astronauts to the lunar surface in 2025.
The launch of Artemis I will be visible throughout Florida and surrounding states.
Folks from all over the country were holding watch parties to witness the launch in real-time.
The program aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon in future crewed missions.