Final inspections underway ahead of Artemis I launch, countdown begins Saturday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — We’re just days away from the launch of Artemis I, NASA’s uncrewed flight test around the moon.


Teams are conducting final inspections ahead of this weekend’s call to stations.

NASA has announced that the launch countdown will begin on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10:23 a.m.

Central Florida’s afternoon storms can always make things a little more difficult, but there’s still time to finish up the remaining work.

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The first integrated flight test of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft on an uncrewed journey around the moon will prepare NASA for future missions with astronauts on board.

“If we launch on Monday, it’s a 42-day mission — much longer than any crewed mission is going to be,” said Doug Hurley, retired NASA astronaut and senior director of business development for Northman Grumman, which built the five-segment, solid rocket boosters for the powerful SLS rocket. “So we’re really stressing the equipment, which I think is good. From an operator standpoint, that’s great.”

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One of the primary objectives for Artemis I is to demonstrate the Orion heat shield as it returns to Earth for its ability to protect a future crew.

Every wire, every bolt, every piece of the vehicles must be tested to ensure they are safe for the crew.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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