(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The Artemis I rocket launched early Wednesday morning, the latest attempt to send an unmanned capsule near the moon after a series of postponements due to weather and mechanical issues.
NASA pushed back a takeoff scheduled for Monday after Hurricane Nicole made landfall about 85 miles south of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The launch marks the first step in an ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon for scientific discovery and economic development. Eventually, the Artemis expedition could lead to the first crewed space trip to Mars, according to NASA.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 16, 4:32 PM EST
Biden celebrates Artemis launch
President Joe Biden celebrated the launch of Artemis I and expressed excitement for the goals of future missions.
“NASA’s Artemis is in flight,” Biden tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “This ship will enable the first woman and first person of color to set foot on the lunar surface and will lead countless students to become explorers and show America’s limitless possibilities to the world.”
Nov 16, 10:55 AM EST
VP congratulates NASA on Artemis launch
Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated NASA Wednesday morning on its success in launching Artemis I.
“Congratulations to NASA and our private sector and international partners on the launch of Artemis I,” she tweeted.
“Today, America is charting a path back to the Moon. This is a landmark moment for our nation and our world.”
Nov 16, 10:17 AM EST
NASA launches real-time mission website
NASA has launched a website where the public can follow the progress of the Artemis I mission in real time.
Viewers can track how far the Orion spacecraft, which detached from the rocket, is from Earth and how close it is to the moon.
The website also shows how fast the spacecraft is traveling and how many days, hours and minutes have elapsed since the mission began.
Nov 16, 1:50 AM EST
Artemis moon rocket launches from Cape Canaveral
The unmanned mission is headed back to the moon after liftoff was achieved at 1:47am ET.
We are going.
For the first time, the @NASA_SLS rocket and @NASA_Orion fly together. #Artemis I begins a new chapter in human lunar exploration. pic.twitter.com/vmC64Qgft9
— NASA (@NASA) November 16, 2022
Nov 16, 1:43 AM EST
Artemis cleared for 1:47 a.m. launch
NASA conducted a “Go-No Go Poll” resulting in a “GO” for launch in 10 minutes, at 1:47 a.m. ET.
Nov 16, 12:03 AM EST
Technicians need to replace ethernet cable
NASA said the “red crew” team has fixed the hydrogen leak problem.
However, a radar on the range is not operational until technicians replace an ethernet cable, which NASA says will take about an hour.
The launch window opens at 1:04 a.m. and runs until 3:04 a.m.
Nov 15, 10:38 PM EST
NASA begins live broadcast ahead of launch
NASA has begun its live broadcast ahead of the anticipated Artemis launch.
Nov 15, 9:46 PM EST
Leak reported ahead of launch
NASA has reported a “small leak” ahead of the Artemis launch.
“Engineers have paused flowing liquid hydrogen into the core stage because of a small leak on a hydrogen valve inside of the mobile launcher,” NASA said. “A team of personnel called a red crew is being assembled to go to the pad to make sure all of the connections and valves remain tight. The valve is located within the base of the mobile launcher.”
-ABC News’ Gio Benitez
Nov 15, 9:28 PM EST
How to watch the Artemis launch
The Artemis launch will take place early Wednesday morning, unless NASA postpones the takeoff due to weather or other concerns.
If Artemis is declared ready, a two-hour window will open at 1:04 a.m. ET. If needed, the back-up windows are Saturday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 25.
NASA will broadcast the launch on NASA TV.
Nov 15, 9:24 PM EST
Weather 90% favorable for launch
The weather is currently at 90% favorable for the Artemis launch early Wednesday morning, according to NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems.
Nov 15, 9:02 PM EST
Artemis mission aims to send astronauts to the moon
The Artemis launch on Wednesday kicks off a yearslong expedition that aims to put astronauts on the moon and enable a future trip to Mars.
The Artemis expedition includes four missions, each of which will cost roughly $4.1 billion. In all, the project will cost up to $93 billion by 2025, according to an audit from the NASA Office of the Inspector General.
If Artemis I is successful, Artemis II will take four astronauts near the moon in 2024. After that, Artemis III will take a crewed spacecraft for a moon landing. Finally, Artemis IV will fly to a space station near the moon.
Over the course of the Artemis missions, NASA plans to eventually send the first female astronaut and the first astronaut of color to the moon.
Nov 15, 9:01 PM EST
Artemis mission has suffered months of delays
The Artemis mission has suffered a series of setbacks since an original launch date in late August that was expected to feature Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance among about 100,000 spectators.
NASA called off that initial takeoff, set for Aug. 29, after a defective sensor prevented one of the rocket’s engines from cooling down to a temperature required before ignition.
Days later, a second launch attempt on Sept. 3 was scrubbed after the space agency identified a liquid hydrogen leak.
A third planned launch attempt, on Sept. 27, faced postponement due to Hurricane Ian. The rocket was moved off the launchpad to protect it, as Ian wrought destruction along its path northward from Florida to the Carolinas.
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