Only moments ago the Artemis 1 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, marking the official launch of NASA's milestone effort to get humans back to the Moon.
At the time of reporting, its been six minutes since Artemis 1 lifted off from its launch pad, and so far, NASA has reported nothing but healthy news for Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Listening to the livestream on NASA's YouTube channel, NASA's commentator is reporting that Artemis 1 is appearing "nominal" with the Space Launch System's core stage main engine cutoff is complete and the core stage has separated from the interim cryogenic propulsion stage as well as the Orion spacecraft.
NASA reports that the next major milestone will be reached 18 minutes after the initial launch, which will be the deployment of Orion's solar arrays. For those that don't know, the Artemis 1 mission will include Orion, which was aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, traveling 280,000 miles from Earth as well as 40,000 miles beyond the far side of the Moon. Artemis 1 is NASA's first mission in its journey to get the US back on the Moon, and the mission is essentially reconnaissance-based and is an overall demonstration that NASA can safely make the journey.
Artemis 1 doesn't have any crew aboard, hence the reconnaissance and safety demonstration, but it will collect the foundational information that will be used in future Artemis missions. If you are interested in keeping up with all updates on Artemis 1, check out NASA's social channels on YouTube and Twitter.