Brevard County

NASA’s Artemis I rocket begins journey to moon after launching from Florida’s Space Coast

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA and others around the world are celebrating another historic moment on Florida’s Space Coast.


Several setbacks overnight didn’t hold NASA back from finally launching its new Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis I mission.

Photos: NASA launches Artemis 1 moon rocket from Florida’s Space Coast

After a spectacular launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Artemis I is now on its voyage to the moon.

Some issues overnight pushed the launch time back by almost 45 minutes.

Despite the early morning liftoff at 1:47 a.m., thousands packed into the coast near Kennedy Space Center to see the historic launch.

Watch: ‘We are going’: Artemis I successfully blasts off from Cape Canaveral

NASA is one step closer to making its next moon landing with astronauts.

Artemis I, an uncrewed mission around the moon, finally lifted off from Launch Complex 39B after two previous launch attempts.

This time around, the launch team had to overcome obstacles, including a liquid hydrogen leak that had to be repaired by a crew on the launchpad.

Artemis I will demonstrate the capabilities of both the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.

That includes a test of the Orion heat shield.

When the spacecraft returns from its 25-day journey, it will be traveling nearly 25,000 mph and experience temperatures up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch: NASA leaders confirm discovery of artifact from space shuttle Challenger

The Orion should then splash down off the coast of San Diego on Dec. 11.

Technicians will conduct detailed inspections of Orion, and retrieve data recorded on board during the flight, which will help ensure the safe return of future crews.

Thousands cheered as they watched the mega rocket blast off into space.

Sightseers couldn’t believe their eyes as they watched the night sky.

See: New detailed image of iconic ‘Pillars of Creation’ captured by NASA’s Webb telescope

Artemis I was brighter than any stars in the sky as it flew into orbit from Florida.

See more in the video above.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Q Mccray

Q McCray,

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.