NASA Launches Artemis Moon Rocket

    Photo: Jonathan Amos BBC

    The Facts

    • The American space agency NASA launched its new Artemis Moon rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. early Wednesday morning. The 100m-tall vehicle is the agency's most powerful rocket ever launched.

    • This marks the start of NASA's new flagship program following years of delays and billions in cost overruns. Artemis' debut flight carries three test dummies in the crew capsule, Orion, on its three-week flight orbit around the Moon. Orion will return to Earth with a splashdown in the Pacific in December.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Eventually, NASA will return astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, including the first woman. As part of a long-term plan for a Moon-to-Mars exploration in the next 20 years, the Artemis project is an exciting test to see how close humanity is to reaching much further than the Moon in the decades to come.

    Narrative B

    Despite the long-term plan for the Artemis program this decade, only now is NASA creating a single management structure to handle its entirety. Whilst the intentions are exciting, there has clearly been a lack of administration that may have been left too late to fix before the planned personnel moon landing in 2025.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that NASA will next land astronauts on the Moon by Aug. 2, 2029, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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