Artemis I prepares to embark on a historic lunar journey
A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science bulletin Wonder Theory. To receive it in your inbox, Register for free here.
In 1968, NASA astronaut Bill Anders took a photo aboard Apollo 8 that changed the way we see our planet: Earthrise.
The iconic photo shows a perspective of Earth seen from near the lunar surface.
It can be easy to take dreamy sunrises or bright full moons for granted, as there are opportunities to see them all the time. But there’s something about seeing our world for what it really is – a planet against an inky backdrop of space – that still inspires awe.
Soon we may have that chance again. The Artemis I mission is preparing to embark on a journey to the moon, and its uncrewed Orion spacecraft will carry an array of cameras inside and outside the capsule.
And as it orbits the moon, Orion may have the opportunity to show us another breathtaking sunrise.
It’s time to go back to the moon.
NASA’s Artemis I mission is scheduled to lift off on August 29 between 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. ET — and we’ve got everything you need to know about how to watch this historic launch and follow the mission timeline.
All eyes are on the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft as they sit on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, waiting to venture further than any spacecraft intended to transport humans. Orion is expected to fly 40,000 miles (64,373 kilometers) beyond the moon, surpassing the record set by Apollo 13.
We asked a forecaster from Cape Canaveral how the weather might factor into the launch. And if you can’t make it to the cape yourself, check out these awesome launch parties happening online and in real life across the country.
Want to be a little more hyped? Take a special look at the Artemis I mission in numbers to understand why it’s such a monumental feat.
Artemis I may not have a human crew, but its commander’s seat won’t be empty.
A dummy, named Commander Moonikin Campos for a key figure in Apollo 13, will test out a survival suit that future astronauts will wear while traveling to the moon. Campos is accompanied by Helga and Zogar, twin “ghost” mannequin torsos who will test the resistance of other deep space radiation protection equipment.
The mission will also carry 10 shoebox-sized satellites, called CubeSats, which will lift off the rocket and head off to their own destinations, including the first deep-space biology experiment and what could become the smallest spacecraft to land on the moon.
All science experiments associated with Artemis I will gather data on how to make deep space travel safer and more efficient for humans in the future.
Dogs truly are our best friends.
According to a new study, our beloved pets might be so thrilled to see us after being separated that their eyes would water with happiness.
Dogs, just like humans, have tear ducts to keep their eyes clean and healthy. Now scientists believe there may also be an emotional connection to dog tears.
And just like humans, dogs can develop dementia. The risk increases after age 10, but don’t despair if you see signs of canine cognitive decline.
Keeping Barkley’s mind engaged with food puzzles and other toys, as well as keeping it active with regular exercise, can help keep your dog healthy.
Humans have been walking upright for a long time – 7 million years, according to a new study of one of the earliest known human ancestors.
Researchers analyzed the bones of Sahelanthropus tchadensis and determined that they walked on two feet, but could also climb trees like a pro.
Walking upright is what put humans on a different evolutionary path than chimpanzees.
Despite the fact that walking on two feet was likely a disadvantage for survival, scientists believe there’s a good reason why our earliest ancestors stood up. And it has to do with the impacts of climate change millions of years ago.
The James Webb Space Telescope lives up to its hype.
NASA this week shared new images of Jupiter taken by the space observatory – and even scientists didn’t expect them to look this good.
Rainbow auroras and massive Jupiter storms are shown in new detail, while faint rings and photobombs of distant galaxies in the background.
Separately, the telescope also captured the first clear evidence of carbon dioxide in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. The gas giant WASP-39b orbits a sun star 700 light-years from Earth.
Dig these for some plot:
– The Spotted Lantern may be a strikingly beautiful insect, but this invasive species can literally suck the life out of crucial crops. So if you spot one, the experts tell you to crush it.
– Dramatic lightning and shimmering ice are among the 22 images shortlisted for the 2022 Weather Photographer of the Year competition.
– Drought can be harsh on your plants. New research shows you may need to pour them a martini.