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Artemis I Launch: 7 Facts About NASA's Historical Moon Mission That You May Not Know

The rocket will be the most potent NASA has ever constructed.

This might be the only intriguing SLS-related fact that is publicly recognised, then. About 15% more thrust will be produced by the SLS used for Artemis I than by the Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo astronauts to the moon.

After launch, SLS will overtake Elon Musk's Starship and the SpaceX Falcon Heavy as the most potent rocket flying. However, if Musk's Starship lives up to its promise, it may reclaim that distinction in a few years.

It's a significant first step for NASA toward Mars.

Making space for astronauts to visit the moon again is Artemis I's main objective. In this initial test voyage, an unmanned Orion spacecraft will orbit the moon

However, the complete plan for Artemis calls for orbiting a lunar gateway next. Future lunar missions will use this as a type of shortcut and miniature space station. The idea is to establish a permanent base on the lunar surface from there. 

The sole scheduled SLS test flight is this one.

Prior to sending people on the next SLS voyage, which is now anticipated in 2024, NASA only planned (and budgeted for) this single test flight. 

Therefore, before sending astronauts on Artemis II, the space agency will need to take all it can from this one voyage and work out any glitches or issues on the ground.

More space will be travelled than with Apollo.

Orion will be used for Artemis I, and it will be launched on a path around the far side of the moon which will take it farther beyond our celestial body than any Apollo astronauts or any other human-made spacecraft has ever gone. 

It's long delayed and considerably over budget.

US taxpayers had initially budgeted $10 billion for the SLS, but the final cost has nearly doubled to surpass $20 billion. And it only applies to the rocket.

According to a government audit, the total cost of creating Orion and the other Artemis programme components will likely total $93 billion by the end of the 2025 fiscal year. What's worse, SLS's planned cost per launch is projected to be nearly eight times higher than originally thought.