What is Artemis I?

Learn about the mission that will pave the way for humanity's return to the Moon.


Artemis 12 (2022-01-11) by NASANASA

Introducing the Rocket and Spacecraft

Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. These are the same systems that will ferry future astronauts on their way to the Moon. 

Artemis 1 on Launch Pad 39B (NHQ202204210013) (2022-04-21) by NASANASA

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Standing 322 feet (98 meters) tall, the SLS rocket comprises a core stage, upper stage, two solid booster, and four RS-25 engines. The SLS rocket is the most powerful rocket in the world.

Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal (2022-04-04) by NASANASA

A Mega Building for a Mega Rocket

Before launch, Artemis I will have some big help: the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is the largest single-story building in the world and is where the SLS rocket is assembled, maintained, and integrated with Orion. 

Artemis 9NASA

The Mobile Launcher

The mobile launcher is used to assemble, process, and launch the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft. The massive structure is equipped with umbilicals and launch accessories to enable power, communications, coolant, and fuel to SLS and Orion prior to launch.

Artemis I First Rollout (2022-03-18) by NASANASA

The Path to the Launch pad

Capable of carrying 18 million pounds and the size of a baseball infield, the Crawler-Transporter 2 transports SLS and Orion the 4.2 miles (6.8 km) to the launch pad.

Artemis I: We Are Capable

Artemis 26NASA

Smoke and Fire

During the launch, SLS will generate 8.8 million pounds (~4.0 million kg) of thrust and is capable of sending 59,500 pounds (27 metric tons) of payloads beyond the Moon.

Artemis 36 (2021-09-14) by NASANASA

A Month-Long Mission

From launch to splashdown, the Artemis I test flight will last approximately 4-6 weeks. Along for the ride is a microchip containing the names of 3.4 million members of the public who submitted their names through a NASA website.

Artemis 18NASA

Solar Power

To power Orion, a total of 15,000 solar cells on four arrays will help convert light into electricity; the arrays can turn and pivot to remain aligned with the Sun for maximum power. 

Artemis 14NASA

Home Away from Home

Astronauts on future missions will have many of the comforts of home in the spacecraft with the habitable volume of about two minivans — they can reheat food, exercise, and yes, they have a bathroom.

Campos 4NASA

The Purposeful Passengers

On the uncrewed Artemis I mission, Three manikins will fly aboard the Orion spacecraft. Commander Moonikin Campos and two “phantom” torsos Helga and Zohar will collect essential data on what future astronauts will experience on deep space missions.

Artemis I artist's concept - earthrise (2021-09-14) by NASANASA

Where No Man Has Gone Before

The Orion spacecraft will travel farther than any spacecraft built for humans has gone before, 40,000 miles (~64,000 kph) past the Moon.

Artemis 32NASA

CubeSat Delivery

A host of shoebox-sized satellites called CubeSats will help enable science and technology experiments that could enhance our understanding of deep space travel and the Moon while providing critical information for future Artemis missions.

Artemis 22 (2021-09-14) by NASANASA

Testing for Deep Space Travel

Though Artemis I is uncrewed, the mission is a vital step in testing new technologies for deep space travel. Orion can support future crews and provide habitable living space for four people for up to 21 days.

Artemis 15NASA

We Go Farther Together

Many international partners are joining Artemis. Orion's service module is provided by the European Space Agency and will power and propel Orion to a highly stable orbit around the Moon. 

Artemis I artist's concept - distant retrograde orbit (2021-09-14) by NASANASA

Preparing for Mars

With Artemis, NASA will establish a long-term presence on the Moon. Lunar research will help develop technologies and plans we need to send humans to Mars and beyond. 

Artemis 19 (2014-09-14) by NASANASA

The Journey Back to Earth

Before Orion re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will be traveling 25,000 mph (~40,000 kph). Orion will slow as it enters Earth’s atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, about 60 miles (96 km) from the coast of California.

Artemis 37 (2020-03-13) by NASANASA


When the Orion spacecraft splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, NASA's recovery team and the U.S. Navy will be ready to retrieve it. 

NASA's Test Orion Spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean at Sunset

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