A crowd the size of a major American city may turn out to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket lift off this weekend.
Artemis 1 It was supposed to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, in Brevard County, Florida, on Monday morning (August 29). According to county officials (Opens in a new tab)100,000 to 200,000 people flocked to the Space Coast to see that attempt, which was removed due to a problem with one of Artemis 1’s first stage engines. space launch system (SLS) missile.
The mission team believes the problem is minor, includes a faulty temperature sensor, and plans to move forward Another take off attempt on Saturday (September 3) 2:17 PM EST (1817 GMT). That’s right in the middle of the Labor Day holiday, which could allow many people to see the unmanned launch live.
In fact, Brevard County officials are expecting a huge crowd — perhaps double what they saw on Monday, from 200,000 to 400,000 people, The Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday (Opens in a new tab) (September 1). Other Space Coast officials agree with this estimate.
“We are sure it will be more than we had on Monday, because it’s a four-ship day in port, a historic launch, a weekend launch, a weekend – some of the top reasons visitors come here. Even one day “So, yeah, we’re expecting maybe double our original estimate with the amount of interest there was,” Megan Abel, director of public relations and film commissioner for the Space Coast Tourism Office in Florida, told Space.com by email.
For perspective: about 400,000 people Residents of New Orleans or Tampa. There are a lot of people who see a missile launch, but this isn’t just an old-fashioned mission. Artemis 1 is the maiden flight of the 322-foot (98-meter) SLS, more powerful than the Saturn Vthe iconic rocket that blew the Apollo spacecraft toward the moon half a century ago.
Artemis 1 will send an uncrewed Orion capsule to lunar orbit and back. The main goal is to show that the SLS and Orion are ready to begin carrying astronauts, which they will begin to do on the Artemis 2 mission in 2024 around the moon, if all goes according to plan.
Space.com editor Brett Tingley contributed to this report. Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).