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The historic Artemis I mission took flight in the early hours of Wednesday morning after months of anticipation. The milestone event kicked off a journey that will send an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon, paving the way for NASA to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in half a century.
The Orion spacecraft’s spectacular first views of Earth were shared more than nine hours into the journey, with the vehicle about 57,000 miles away from our planet on its way to the moon.
It’s the first time since the final Apollo mission in 1972 that a spacecraft designed to carry humans to the moon has captured a view of Earth.
The towering, 322-foot-tall (98-meter-tall) Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket lit its engines at 1:47 a.m. ET. It emitted up to 9 million pounds (4.1 million kilograms) of thrust to haul itself off the launchpad in Florida and into the air, streaking vibrantly across the night sky.