Artemis Iin numbers

Almost 50 years later, NASA is ready to return humans to the lunar surface with the Artemis program. This next chapter of lunar exploration will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, paving the way for a human presence on the moon and beyond -- and it begins with Artemis I.

Here’s a look at the big numbers that make the Artemis I mission a monumental feat.

Artemis I rocket is in position at Launch Complex 39B as the full moon light up the night sky.

A1

The SLS and Orion at Kennedy Space Center in Florida get ready for a wet dress rehearsal in June 2022.
24,500

miles per hour

(39,400 kph) is the speed at which Orion will enter the Earth’s atmosphere on its return.

A2

The Artemis I rocket stack, many stories high, is placed on a crawler-transporter in the Vehicle Assembly Building.

A3

The SLS and Orion rocket stack prepare for rollout to the launch complex ahead of the Artemis I launch in August 2022.
2,000

pounds

(900 kg) of weight was saved by making the rocket boosters single-use instead of reusable. The Space Launch System (SLS) no longer carries the fuel or the propulsion system it would have needed to haul them back during its return to Earth.

A4

This is a rendering of the Orion spacecraft flying in front of the moon with the Earth in the distance.

A5

NASA artist’s concept of Orion’s lunar flyby.
1 hr 53 sec

after liftoff, the rocket is 2,400 miles (3,860 km) above Earth. The remaining upper stage of the Space Launch System detaches and Orion completes the trip to the moon without the rocket.

A6

This is a NASA animation of what it may look like when Orion heads to the moon.
10

CubeSats

will hitch a ride on the rocket. These small satellites will carry out their own science and technology investigations.

A8

This is an artist’s concept of Orion’s return to Earth.

A9

This is a NASA artist’s concept of Orion’s return to Earth in a blaze.
A hard case with shiny black panels on a white table with a person in blue surgical gloves and a hairnet next to it.

A10

A CubeSat is being prepared for loading onto Artemis I.
90,000

gallons

(409,150 liters) of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen will be burned every minute for eight minutes by four RS-25 engines that are part of the Space Launch System.

A11

11

parachutes

make up Orion’s parachute system. They must deploy in precise sequence to slow the spacecraft from 324 mph (520 kph) to a landing speed of 17 mph (27 kph), so it’s ready for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

B1

280,000

miles

(450,600 km) is the distance the Artemis I mission will travel from Earth, far beyond the moon.

B2

Twin rocket boosters jettison from the SLS core stage.
A 3D model of the Orion spacecraft is shown.
5,000°F

(2,760°C) is nearly the temperature that Orion’s heat shield will endure as it returns through Earth’s atmosphere -- that’s half as hot as the surface of the sun.

B5

A test version of Orion carried by a transporter, in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

B6

A test version of Orion is rolled to Space Launch Complex 46.
2,000,000+

pounds

(900,000+ kg) of solid propellant (PBAN, ammonium perchlorate and aluminum powder) fill the twin rocket boosters alone. And it’s all used up within two minutes.

B7

8.8

million pounds

(4 million kg) is the thrust the Space Launch System produces to leave Earth’s atmosphere. That’s equal to the combined thrust of 126 of the largest civil aircraft, the Airbus A380.

B8

322

feet

(98 m) is the height of the Artemis I rocket stack -- a little taller than the Statue of Liberty.

B9

NASA successfully conducts a major ground test for a full-scale test version of the rocket booster in June 2016.
The white Orion spacecraft is shown inside a huge metal structure.

B11

The Orion spacecraft is shown inside a thermal vacuum chamber in March 2020.
Illustration of the Artemis I emblem of the Moon with a rocket blasting off in front of it and a red and a blue pathway.

C1

The Artemis I emblem.
1.3

million miles

(2.1 million km) is the total distance that the Artemis I mission will cover.

C2

5.8

million pounds

(2.6 million kg) is the weight of the Space Launch System at liftoff. That's the weight of eight fully loaded 747 jumbo jets.

C3

A huge rocket on its side being transported on a road dwarfs people in the foreground.

C4

The SLS core stage is transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center.
0

astronauts

will be onboard. Artemis I is an uncrewed mission to test systems in a spaceflight environment.

C5

NASA conducts a successful “hot fire” -- a final stage test where all four RS-25 engines fire in January 2021.
An orange rocket blasting off from a huge metal support with fire and smoke clouds.

C7

An artist’s concept of the SLS and Orion lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
100

miles

(161 km) is the altitude the Space Launch System reaches eight minutes after liftoff before its core stage separates and falls into the Pacific Ocean, landing east of Hawaii.

C8

25.5

days

is the duration of the Artemis I mission to the moon and back.

C9

A 3D model of the moon’s far-side surface is shown.
The twin rocket boosters, many stories high inside a bay, are surrounded by metal supports.

C11

The fully stacked twin solid rocket boosters are stored inside the Vehicle Assembly Building in June 2021.
2

rocket boosters

blast the Space Launch System out of Earth’s gravitational pull, only to detach two minutes after liftoff. The boosters then fall into the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Bahamas.

C12

8-14

days

is how long it’ll take to get from the Earth to the moon.

C13

Silver Orion spacecraft floats on an orange inflatable in a pool with people swimming alongside.

C14

The recovery team practices Orion recovery techniques in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
3 min, 40 sec

is all it takes for the rocket to lift off and go into orbit.

C15