NASA rocket sets off to the moon for a new flagship program

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NASA launched the most powerful rocket ever built on a mission to the Moon on Wednesday, marking the start of a new flagship program, Artemis.

The 32-story Space Launch System (SLS) launched at 1:47 am from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center (0647 GMT).

“We are going,” NASA tweeted.

Uncrewed Orion will later separate and complete an orbit-and-a-half of Earth’s nearest neighbor in a test run for further trips that should see the first woman and first person of color land on the moon by the mid-2020s.

The launch pushed through despite technical issues that ate into the two-hour launch window at 1:04 am.

A valve leak stopped the flow of liquid hydrogen into the core stage Tuesday night, but a launch pad team fixed the problem in an hour.

Later, the space agency reported a malfunctioning ethernet switch at a radar facility tracking the rocket’s flight path.

NASA finally launched after two previous attempts were canceled for technical reasons.

The launch was also delayed due to weather setbacks, including Hurricane Ian, that battered Florida in late September. BKM/ Expat Media

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