After several scuppered launch attempts, the most powerful rocket in history has finally departed on its maiden voyage.
The combination of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule soared into the night sky from Kennedy Space Center, Florida early this morning on its first ever mission to the Moon.
The launch itself provided a breathtaking spectacle as the enormous rocket – the most powerful ever built – lit up the gloom as it soared into the heavens, a testament to the ingenuity, skill and perseverance of the scientists and engineers who designed and built it.
Artemis I isn’t carrying any astronauts, instead serving as a trial run for a manned mission in the future.
It is, however, equipped with an array of monitoring instruments and experiments which will be carried on a 25-day, 1.3-million-mile trip all the way to the Moon and back.
As things stand, the first actual attempt to land humans on the lunar surface will not be until 2025, although this is likely to be pushed back at least a year due to all the delays.
“Liftoff!! @NASA_Artemis is on its way to the Moon!” NASA administrator Bill Nelson wrote on Twitter.
“Congratulations to the amazing team that has gotten us to this moment. GO ARTEMIS!”