How to watch this week’s night launch of NASA’s mega moon rocket

NASA is aiming to launch its next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on a mission to the moon this week.

Following several postponed launch efforts in recent months due to technical issues and severe weather systems, NASA will attempt the rocket’s maiden launch early on Wednesday morning ET (Tuesday night PT) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The highly anticipated mission will see the world’s most powerful rocket send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a flyby of the moon as part of the Artemis I mission, marking the start of a new era of space exploration.

NASA set out the schedule in a tweet shared on Monday:

#Artemis I is launching to the Moon!

Nov. 15:
3:30pm ET (2030 UTC): Tanking coverage
10:30pm ET (0330 UTC): Launch broadcast

Nov. 16:
8:30am ET (1330 UTC): Trajectory burn
10am ET (1500 UTC): Earth views from @NASA_Orion

Stay tuned: https://t.co/sQWu67xTPq pic.twitter.com/srAEMfTQ63

— NASA (@NASA) November 14, 2022

How to watch

Preparations for launch, as well as the launch itself, can be viewed via the player embedded at the top of this page, or by heading to the NASA’s YouTube channel, which will carry the same feed.

Live coverage of tanking operations, with commentary, will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, November 15.

Full launch coverage will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, with the liftoff currently scheduled for 1:04 a.m. ET on Wednesday (10:04 p.m. PT on Tuesday).

What to expect

A slew of cameras on the ground and on the rocket itself will cover the launch from multiple angles as the 98-meter-tall SLS vehicle lights up the Florida sky on its way to space. Commentators will also talk viewers through the early stages of the flight, including the deployment of the Orion spacecraft, which will then make its way toward the moon before returning for a splashdown landing in December.

NASA will also livestream what promise to be spectacular Earth views from cameras on Orion later on Wednesday morning.

A successful Artemis I mission will pave the way for Artemis II, which will fly the same path, but this time with a crew aboard. After that, Artemis III will aim to put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface, possibly as early as 2025.

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