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Bay Area Astronomer Talks Upcoming Artemis 1 Mission Launch

The countdown to takeoff for the Artemis 1 mission is on. A combated space launch system and Orion Spacecraft is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida Monday morning.

Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer with the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland will be watching the launch.

“The idea of this mission is to launch the Orion. Send it out to the moon, put it in orbit, around the moon and eventually, return to earth and test out all the systems be involved, when we eventually send humans back to the moon. Most likely in 2025,” he said.

McKeegan said that NASA had been anxious to get back to the Moon and eventually onto Mars for some time, and over the last 10 years got focused on that.

“The space launch system, which is the largest launch vehicle that NASA has built, on top of it is the Orion capsule, which hopefully will eventually carry astronauts to the moon. But for this mission the Orion capsule is not crewed. So it’s just an empty capsule,” he said.

Meantime, NASA officials held another briefing today as anticipation builds for Monday morning’s launch at the Kennedy Space. Officials confirmed that despite lightning strikes to the towers at the launch pad, the mission is on track for the inaugural launch.

Christie Smith has the full story in the video above.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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