Artemis has officially launched. Following months of delays and issues with NASA’s largest space launch system ever, the next era of space exploration officially began this morning, when Artemis I successfully lifted off. But the liftoff isn’t the only thing worth celebrating, as Artemis I captured this stunning view of Earth as it left our planet behind and began its journey toward the Moon.
The view, which was showcased during NASA Live’s coverage of the launch event, shows the side of the rocket as it makes its way through space. Artemis’ view of Earth during these moments is both stunning and delightful, showcasing the curvature of our planet as the Sun rests behind it.
The logistics behind this mission are absolutely insane when you really think about how much work had to go into making this launch a success. And, even if the Orion capsule returns with less-than-stellar results, it will still be a successful first step towards a new era of space exploration. That, of course, isn’t to mention the breathtaking nature of Artemis and Orion’s view of Earth as it makes its way to the Moon.
From here, Orion will continue its trek toward the Moon. Once there, it will orbit our Lunar companion and gather data needed to see if the capsule is safe for human travel. This mission itself will not land on the Moon, but that’s okay, as Artemis I has kicked off a completely new era for space explorers. This will be the first time that we have sent a dedicated spacecraft to the Moon since the Apollo era.
In the meantime, we can at least look forward to more Artemis views of Earth as it travels to the Moon. From the Moon, NASA hopes to use Orion and the Artemis program as a kick-off to explore other places without our solar system, with a manned mission to Mars even set for the 2030s.
Of course, there are multiple obstacles to overcome by then, including figuring out how to let humans breathe on Mars.