Artemis I Launch
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Updated Nov 19, 0000 UTC
The first launch of the SLS rocket, after several delays, was carried out at 0647:44 UTC on 2022 Nov 16. SLS vehicle 1
carried an Orion spacecraft on the Artemis I mission.
The SLS Block I consists of:
- Two 5-segment Redesigned Solid Rocket Motors, RSRMV-1L and RSRMV-1R, with a launch mass of 726 tonnes and burnout mass of 99.0 tonnes each,
developed by MSFC and Northrop Grumman/Utah.
- The SLS Core Stage, CS-1. CS-1, developed by Boeing, has a dry mass of 99.3 tonnes, 1102 tonnes fuelled, and is 64.6m long 8.4m diameter.
CS-1 uses four refurbished RS-25 Space Shuttle Main Engines, 2045, 2056, 2058 and 2060.
- The Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter (LVSA), connecting the CS to the ICPS. It has a mass of 4.5 tonnes and is built
by Teledyne Brown (Huntsville). The LVSA remains attached to CS-1.
- The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), ICPS-1, with an RL10B-2 LOX/LH2 engine.
ICPS is a modified 5-metre-diameter Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) from the Delta IV rocket and is built by ULA.
Dry mass of 3.8 tonnes; 32.7 tonnes fuelled.
- The Orion Stage Adapter (OSA), an 800 kg cylindrical section which remains attached to ICPS-1 and contains
10 cubesats that will be deployed after launch.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) spacecraft consists of:
- The Launch Abort System (LAS), consisting for this flight of a dummy Abort Motor, a dummy Attitude Motor,
a live Jettison Motor and a nosecone covering the crew module. Mass of 7 tonnes.
- Orion Crew Module CM S/N 002, with three instrumented dummy astronauts to monitor radiation exposure, acceleration, temperature, etc.
Built by JSC and Lockheed Martin with a mass of 10.4 tonnes.
- European Service Module ESM-001 "Bremen", with engine AJ10-190 OME S/N 111, which first flew in an OMS pod on Shuttle mission 41-G.
Built by Airbus, dry mass around 4900 kg. 14 tonnes fuelled. Includes the Crew Module Adapter (CMA) (about 200 kg?) which connects it to the CM.
- Spacecraft Adapter Jettison (SAJ) panels 1 to 3, each with a mass of about 433 kg.
- Spacecraft Adapter Cone (SAC), connecting the ESM to the OSA, mass 450 kg. The SAC remains with the OSA/ICPS after Orion separates.
Orion summary:
Launch mass Height Diameter Cumulative mass Cumulative height
tonne m m tonne m
LAS 7.6 11.3 - 7.6 11.3 to top of CM (15.0 to SM interface)
CM 9.4 4.6 5.0 17.0 15.9
SM 14.0 4.8 5.0 31.0 20.0
SAJ/SAC 1.7 - - 32.7 20.0
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Orion total 32.7t 20.0m
SLS summary:
Launch mass Height Diameter Cumulative mass Cumulative height
tonne m m tonne m
RSRMV-1L 726.0 54.7 3.7 726.0 -
RSRMV-1R 726.0 54.7 3.7 1452.0 -
CS-1 (1088 no engines)
CS-1 (+ 14 4 x 3.5t RS-25)
CS-1 1102.0 64.6 8.4 2554.0 64.6 (mass includes RS-25 engines)
LVSA 4.5 8.4 8.4 2558.5 - (height included in ICPS)
ICPS-1 32.7 12.2 5.1 2591.2 76.8 (press kit height of 13.7m includes OSA)
OSA 0.8 1.5 5.1 2592.0 78.3
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SLS Blk1 total 2592.0t 78.3m
Orion 32.7 20.0 5.0
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Estimate SLS + Orion 2624.7t 98.3m
Quoted SLS + Orion 2603 t 98.3m
Discrepancy: 22 tonnes
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Comparison with other moonships:
Rocket Spaceship Rocket Rocket Dia Rocket Ship Ship Ship Combined Combined Combined Launch Max Altitude
Length Diam Launch mass Length Diam. Launch mas Length Diam Launch mas Thrust reached
m m tonne m m tonne m m tonne MN km
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturn V Apollo 84.7 10.1 2850 25.0 3.9 50 110.6 10.1 2900 34.0 400,000
N-1 L-3 61.0 16.8 2623 44.3 4.1 102 105.3 14.0 2788 41.4 40
SLS Block 1 Orion 78.3 8.4 2592 20.0 5.0 33 98.3 8.4 2585 39.0 0 (so far)
Artemis I rank: 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 3rd (so far)
There are other big rockets that were not designed for human lunar missions - notably Energia and Shuttle.
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Below I give my best estimate of the nominal flight sequence (MET is mission elapsed time in T+dd:hh:mm:ss).
Of course the actual flight is likely to diverge significantly from this, but it's a useful fiducial reference.
Details of trajectory are based on info from JPL Horizons; as usual, infinite thanks to Jon Giorgini for his work on Horizons.
Other sources include NASA press materials, especially the Artemis Reference and the Artemis I press kit.
Corrections are welcome.
UTC MET
2022 Nov 16 0647:37 T-00:00:00:07 Ignition of RS-25 engines
0647:44 T+00:00:00:00 Launch from Mobile Launch Platform 1 at pad LC39B at Kennedy Space Center
0649:56 T+00:00:02:12 RSMRV-1L/1R shutdown and jettison at an altitude of 48 km; fall in Atlantic.
0650:55 T+00:00:03:11 SAJ panels 1 to 3 jettisoned at an altitude of 88 km; fall in Atlantic.
0651;00 T+00:00:03:16 LAS jettison at an altitude of 90? km and velocity 2.03 km/s; fall in Atlantic.
0653:08? T+00:00:05:24 RSRMVs splash down in Atlantic
0655:47 T+00:00:08:03 CS-1 (RS-25 1 to 4) MECO (main engine cutoff), altitude 157 km, orbit 30 x 1808 km x 30.5 deg.
0655:59 T+00:00:08:15 CS-1/LVSA separate from ICPS-1/OSA/Orion in 30 x 1808 km orbit.
0705:53 T+00:00:18:09 ESM-1 solar panels deployed, altitude 484 km
0739:46? T+00:00:52:02 Apogee 1, 1810 km
0740:40 T+00:00:52:56 ICPS-1 22-second PRM perigee raise burn near apogee at 1791 km; new IPCS/Orion orbit 181 x 1808 km x 30.5 deg
0815? T+00:01:27? ICPS-1 18m TLI translunar injection burn begins, altitude 388 km
0827? T+00:01:40 Artemis/IPCS perigee at 247 km
0833? T+00:01:46 CS-1/LVSA reentry over Pacific near 129W 15N
0835:10 T+00:01:47:26 ICPS-1 engine cutoff, translunar injection (TLI) in 516 x 377200 km x 30.52 deg
0845:20 T+00:01:57:36 ICPS-1/OSA/SAC separates from Artemis I Orion CM002/ESM-001 at 1.0m/s
0846:42 T+00:01:58:58 USS (Upper Stage Separation) burn: Service Module ESM-001 aux thrusters fire to increase separation rate of Orion from ICPS by 1.7m/s
1009:20 T+00:03:21:36 ICPS-1 disposal burn to escape trajectory 532 x 377388 km x 30.3 deg orbit
1027 T+00:03:40 Cubesats Lunar IceCube, OMOTENASHI, EQUULEUS, BioSentinel, ArgoMoon deployed from OSA (on ICPS-1) to 521 x 379650 km x 30.3 deg orbit
1157 T+00:05:10 Cubesat NEA Scout deployed from OSA, 532 x 377388 km x 30.3 deg orbit (no contact)
1220 T+00:05:33 Cubesat LunaH-Map deployed from OSA
1250 T+00:06:03 Cubesat LunIR deployed from OSA (weak signal)
1350 T+00:07:03 Cubesat Team Miles deployed from OSA (no contact?)
1434 T+00:07:47 Artemis I ESM-1 OTC-1 trajectory correction burn 1 using aux thrusters , -8 x 377229 km x 30.7 deg
1450 T+00:08:03 Cubesat CuSP deployed from OSA
2336 T+00:16:49 ICPS-1 and cubesats now 150,000 km altitude, I enter them in my Deep Space Catalog as D01101 and D01106 to D01115
2337 T+00:16:50 Artemis I now 150,000 km altitude, I enter it in my Deep Space Catalog as D01100
2022 Nov 20 1910 T+04:12:23 Artemis I enters lunar Hill Sphere. Lunar hyperbolic orbit 142 x -17816 km x 173.5 deg
2140 T+04:14:53 NEA Scout enter lunar Hill sphere, lunar flyby hyperbola
2145 T+04:14:58 OMOTENASHI enter lunar Hill sphere, lunar flyby hyperbola 1878 x -19742 km x 162.8 deg (if no TCM)
2022 Nov 21 0518 T+04:22:31 Artemis I local apogee, 376407 km
2022 Nov 21 1236 T+05:05:49? Artemis I ESM-1 OPF (Outbound Powered Flyby) lunar orbit insertion burn to 145 x 134840 km x 173.8 deg orbit, using OME-111 engine
1259 T+05:06:12 Artemis I perilune 1 at 145 km
1546 T+05:08:59 NEA Scout perilune 1 in 2583 x -20306 km x 164.0 deg hyperbolic flyby
1557? T+05:09:10 OMOTENASHI solid motor retro burn
1557? T+05:09:10 OMOTENASHI lunar landing
1557? T+05:09:10 OMOTENASHI perilune of 1879 km if no TCM
2022 Nov 22 1010 T+06:04:06 NEA Scout depart lunar Hill sphere, 138300 x 1266200 km x 40.8 deg Earth near-escape trajectory (TBD, mission is out of contact)
2022 Nov 23 0350 T+06:21:03 Artemis I depart lunar Hill Sphere
2022 Nov 25 1339 T+09:06:52 Artemis I apolune 1 92712 km (orbit -1542 x 97213 km x 10.6)
2022 Nov 25 2143 T+09:14:56 Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) insertion burn, OME-111 engine
2022 Nov 28 2048 T+12:14:01 Artemis I perilune 2 69272 km
2022 Nov 28 2106 T+12:14:19 Artemis I overall apogee 432193 km
2022 Dec 1 2145 T+16:14:58 Artemis I DRO Departure burn with OME-111 engine, -1448 x 86488 x 34.0
2022 Dec 1 2156 T+16:15:09 Artemis I apolune 2 86344 km
2022 Dec 3 2310 T+18:16:23 Artemis I enter lunar Hill Sphere on 130 x 108450 km x 162.3 deg orbit
2022 Dec 5 1635 T+20:09:48 Artemis I RPF (Return Powered Flyby) transearth injection burn to 136 x -12129 km x 162.2 deg lunar hyperbolic orbit, OME-111 engine
2022 Dec 5 1645 T+20:09:58 Artemis I perilune 3 130 km
2022 Dec Artemis I RTC-1 Return Trajectory Correction with Orion Aux thrusters (one of several)
2022 Dec 6 0732 T+21:00:45 Artemis I depart lunar Hill Sphere, outbound in 2450 x 396142 km x 98.9 deg Earth orbit
2022 Dec 6 1024 T+21:03:37 Artemis I apogee, 396139 km, begin Earthbound leg
2022 Dec 11 1508 T+25:08:41 Artemis I within GEO
1709? T+25:10:29? ESM-1 jettisoned from CM-002
1719 T+25:10:32 CM-002 altitude 212 km, orbit 45 x 392095 km x 85.7 deg
1720 T+25:10:33 ESM-1 reentry, burnup over Pacific near 156W 26N
1720 T+25:10:33 CM-002 entry 100 km over Pacific
1723 T+25:10:36 CM-002 main parachutes out
1735 T+25:10:48 CM-002 splashdown NE of Hawaii
2023 Feb 1 0130 T+76:19:26 ? ICPS-1 depart Earth Hill sphere in 0.970 x 1.025 AU x 2.12 deg solar orbit