After a month of delays and two historic hurricanes, NASA was finally able to launch its Artemis I moon rocket. The launch took place on Wednesday, November 16th. Even though the rocket has just begun its journey, it has already started to record some incredible views. Artemis I captured breathtaking footage of our Earth during liftoff. See some of the craft’s earliest footage below.
NASA posted the footage to Twitter, sharing its awe at our latest view of Earth.
“As [NASA Orion] begins the #Artemis I mission to the Moon, the spacecraft captured these stunning views of our home planet,” the caption read.
According to Best Life, the above footage was taken as NASA’s Artemis rocket made lift-off. The clip sees the craft climbing higher and higher into our planet’s stratosphere.
“Absolutely breathtaking and humbling,” one viewer commented on Twitter. “Thank you. Looking forward to see[ing] the Artemis program succeed.”
A second Twitter user added, “Congratulations to the entire team for a successful and beautiful launch!”
The launch of the Artemis I Moon Rocket was historic, however, it’s just the beginning of a much larger mission. Artemis I represents the first part of NASA’s plans to put humans back on the moon. After taking off earlier this week, the rocket will complete a 26-day mission, the craft orbiting the moon for the next several weeks before it heads back toward earth on December 11th. Though Artemis I is unmanned, it does boast a capsule, named Orion, which holds two mannequins decked out in gear intended for astronauts set to take part in the later part of the Artemis mission. The suits on these mannequins monitor flight conditions and gauge radiation levels, which are important for best equipping real-life astronauts when the next phase of the mission takes place in 2024.
Artemis I Rocket Paving the Way for Humans to Explore the Moon’s South Pole
The Artemis mission boasts a multitude of goals and plans for the coming years. However, NASA’s ultimate destination is the moon’s South Pole. Recently, scientists confirmed the existence of water-ice on Earth’s moon. This is important because, until now, Earth has been the only known extraterrestrial body to boast water, in solid or liquid form. If the second and third phases of the Artemis mission are successful, then astronauts will hopefully be able to explore and take samples of the moon’s south pole by 2025.
NASA spoke broadly on Instagram about what the success of the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket means. The agency wrote, “With Artemis, we will build a long-term human presence on the Moon and prepare humanity for future exploration plans to Mars and beyond.”
NASA’s November 16th launch was hard won. In total, it took the space agency six tries before finally getting Artemis I off the ground.