A crowd the size of a major American city will gather this weekend to watch NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket lift off.
Artemis 1 The launch was scheduled for Monday morning (Aug. 29) from the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida. District officials said (opens in new tab)Between 100,000 and 200,000 people flocked to the space beach to witness the attempt, which was scuppered by a problem with one of Artemis 1’s first-stage engines. Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The mission team considers the problem involving a faulty temperature sensor to be minor and plans to proceed with it. Another liftoff attempt on Saturday (Sept. 3) at 2:17 pm EDT (1817 GMT). That’s Labor Day weekend, which will allow many more people to witness the unmanned launch.
In fact, Brevard County officials are expecting a large crowd — perhaps double what they saw Monday, 200,000 to 400,000 strong. The Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday (opens in new tab) (Sept. 1). Other Space Coast officials agree with that assessment.
“We’re hoping it will be even bigger than what we had on Monday because it’s a four-ship day in port, a landmark launch, a launch weekend and a holiday weekend — just some of the main reasons why visitors are here all in one day,” with Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism. Meagan Happel, public relations manager and film commissioner, told Space.com via email. “So, yes, we’re doubling our original estimate, and that’s how much interest there was.”
Outlook: 400,000 people approx The population of New Orleans or Tampa. A lot of people are there to watch a rocket launch, but this is no old mission. Artemis 1 is the first flight of the 322-foot-tall (98 meters) SLS, which is more powerful than the plane itself. Shani vThe iconic rocket that blasted the Apollo spacecraft toward the moon half a century ago.
Artemis 1 will launch an ungrooved Orion capsule into lunar orbit. The main goal is to show that SLS and Orion are ready to carry astronauts, and if all goes according to plan, the Artemis 2 mission will begin orbiting the moon in 2024.
Space.com editor Brett Dingley contributed to this report. By Mike Wall “outside (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelWall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).