Next Spaceflight


Artemis I

Launch Time
NET October, 2022

The first flight of the Space Launch System (SLS). With more thrust at liftoff than Saturn V, SLS will become the most powerful rocket ever to reach orbit if the Artemis I mission is successful.


SLS Block 1
Status: Active
Price: $876.0 million
Liftoff Thrust: 39,440 kN
Payload to LEO: 95,000 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 98.1 m
Fairing Diameter: 5.1 m
Fairing Height: 14.3 m

Mission Details

Artemis I

Artemis I (formerly known as Exploration Mission 1 [EM-1]) will be the first flight of NASA’s SLS rocket and the first flight of the full Orion Spacecraft. Being a test flight, there will be no crew onboard. Depending on the launch day, Orion will spend up to 42 days in space, including up to 36 days in a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. At the end of the mission, Orion will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. The goal of this mission is to test all major systems in the lunar environment to prepare for the crewed Artemis II mission.

Payloads: 1
Trans Lunar Injection

Secondary Payloads

Thirteen low-cost CubeSat missions were competitively selected as secondary payloads on the Artemis I test flight. They will reside within the second stage of the launch vehicle from which they will be deployed. Two CubeSats have been selected through NASA's Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership, three through the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, two through the Science Mission Directorate, and three were chosen from submissions by NASA's international partners. Only 10 spacecraft were ultimately installed in the stage adapter, the remaining ones having met schedule delays and missed the delivery date for integration.

The following spacecraft will be flying on Artemis 1:
- ArgoMoon
- BioSentinel
- CuSP
- Lunar IceCube
- LunaH Map
- NEA Scout
- Skyfire
- Team Miles

These payloads were selected but missed integration and were re-manifested:
- Earth Escape Explorer
- Lunar Flashlight
- Cislunar Explorers

Payloads: 10
Heliocentric Orbit


LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA

Launch Viewing

SLS will fly to the east as it sends Orion on its way to the moon. Weather permitting, the plume from the two solid rocket boosters should be visible from large portions of Florida. With more liftoff thrust than Saturn V, those near the Kennedy Space Center should expect an impressive launch experience.