NASA’s Orion spacecraft will make the journey from Ohio to Florida later this month before ultimately leaving Earth for a test flight around the Moon for the first Artemis mission.
NASA has a media event at Plum Brook Station in Ohio scheduled for this Saturday, March 14, where Orion will be on full display. The viewing event was originally scheduled for Monday, March 9, then rescheduled for the weekend on Wednesday, March 4.
The spacecraft will arrive in Florida by Tuesday, March 24, when NASA will hold a second media event for welcoming the Orion spacecraft to its next testing home.
The space agency will eventually integrate Orion with Space Launch System; the Core Stage of SLS is currently being tested in Mississippi at Stennis where an eight-minute engine firing test will be conducted later this summer.
After Space Launch System is fully assembled and tested, it will be used to launch Orion into space for the Artemis I mission. The goal is to successfully orbit the Moon. Artemis II will include NASA astronaut crew for the first time on SLS and Orion with a mission to orbit the Moon once more, then Artemis III will make history by sending the first woman and next man to the surface of the Moon by 2024.
Ultimately, the goal of the Artemis program is to learn more about off Earth environments and overcome limits in the way of sending astronauts to Mars.
Space Launch System and Orion are expected to launch sometime in 2021.
In the meantime, investment bank Morgan Stanley’s Space Team expects Artemis to boost public interest in NASA and benefit space tourism businesses with services coming online this decade.
Want to learn more about NASA’s Artemis program? Lindsey Stirling’s electric violin performance on the roof of NASA’s Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center is a good launchpad for more information.