NASA have just launched its Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world. This Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon as part of the Artemis project.
The spacecraft will travel approximately 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and return to Earth, taking 25.5 days to do this.
The spacecraft includes a series of complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon which NASA hopes to then use for future missions with crew to Mars.
Artemis is being used to study the origin of the Moon, the history of the Earth and our own solar system. It is also to learn how we can live and operate on the surface of the Moon, with the plan to build an Artemis base camp on the Moon’s surface. The missions will also use new technologies and capabilities which are needed for future exploration of Mars.
Through the Artemis missions, NASA plans to land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon’s surface and this will hopefully be in 2025.