Comparing Artemis 1 to Apollo and some family-friendly activities for launch day

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Two views of the Space Launch System heavy-lift moon rocket being hauled to launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center. Blastoff on a 42-day unpiloted test flight is planned for 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday. If all goes well, the Orion crew capsule at the top of the rocket will return to a Pacific Ocean splashdown October 10. (CREDIT: NASA via CBS News)

The first crewless test flight of NASA’s Artemis program, Artemis 1, is scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning.

No one will be inside the crew capsule on the 322-foot rocket. Inside will only be mannequins swarming with sensors to measure radiation while in space and vibration during launch. The launch is scheduled for 8:33 a.m. Monday, weather permitting.

The unpiloted Orion crew capsule is going on a 42-day trip around the moon. The capsule will fly in a distant orbit for a couple of weeks before heading back for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

WINK News spoke with FGCU professor Doctor Derek Buzasi, who once worked for NASA in the astrophysics division, and on the Hubble Telescope. He said he is looking forward to what’s next.

“Apollo inspired a generation of kids. So, my first memory as a child, when I was 4 years old, was watching the moon landing the first moon landing, sitting as a little kid on the carpet in my parents’ apartment and watching this, you know, crummy little black and white television. And of course, I still remember that, and I became an astronomer, probably partly because of that. So it does have that kind of level of inspiration for people. And I think that’s something that’s really important as well. We need to have that,” said Buzasi.

This will be the first mission like this since the early 70s. Buzasi said it replicates what NASA did with Apollo in many ways.

A comparison of the Saturn V and the new Moon rocket called the Space Launch System or SLS. (Credit: AP)

The capacity of the Artemis program is more than what Apollo was able to do. The Orion spacecraft will travel 30,000 miles farther than Apollo 13, which currently holds the distance record. Buzasi said he has a good feeling that we’ll go beyond that.

By 2024, the goal is to take the first woman and first person of color to the moon. Then after that, to send people to work in lunar orbit and on the moon’s surface.

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