CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In their mission to send astronauts back to the moon — and eventually Mars — NASA was scheduled to launch its Artemis 1 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Monday morning.
But the planned unmanned launch was scrubbed just minutes after the window opened at 8:33 a.m.
“This is a brand new rocket. It’s not going to fly until it’s ready," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in his opening statements during a 1 p.m. press conference. "There are millions of components of this rocket and its systems – and needless to say the complexity is daunting when you bring it all into the focus of a countdown.”
You can watch the full press conference in the player below:
The next possible launch window opens at 12:48 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2. NASA, however, has not yet announced their next scheduled attempt at launching Artemis 1.
Mission manager Mike Sarafin said the team is regrouping Tuesday to develop a series of options.
"Friday is definitely in play," Sarafin said when asked if Friday's launch window was a possibility.
After Friday, the next launch window opens on Labor Day — Monday, Sept. 5.
"Artemis 1 is the first test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems, with the Orion spacecraft launching atop the massive Space Launch System rocket," according to the Kennedy Space Center. "This mission is the first in a series of missions to demonstrate NASA’s ability to extend human existence to the moon and beyond."
3News' Betsy Kling is in Florida to offer extended coverage of the launch. She will also be hosting a 3News special at 7:30 p.m. Monday night called "Inside Artemis: To the Moon and Beyond."
Updates from NASA:
This NASA mission has ties to Northeast Ohio as testing on the Orion space capsule was conducted at the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky. The Orion capsule then traveled to Mansfield in March of 2020 where it was loaded on NASA's Supper Guppy plane to be transported to the Kennedy Space Center.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story about Orion on Nov. 15, 2019.
"NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before," NASA explains. "Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities."
So what can you expect from the Artemis 1 mission?
"During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown," NASA explains. "It will travel 280,000 miles from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a four to six-week mission. Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before."
Splashdown is set for Oct. 10.
"With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before," NASA explains. "We will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the moon. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the moon to take the next giant leap: Sending the first astronauts to Mars."
So what's next?
"If all goes well, astronauts could strap in as soon as 2024 for a lap around the moon, with NASA aiming to land two people on the lunar surface by the end of 2025," according to this report from the Associated Press.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Artemis story on Aug. 25, 2022.