Miami, Aug 26 – It will be the first of three historic missions to the Moon and the expectation is great, as the tourism office of the so-called Space Coast of Florida (USA) knows, where they foresee a minimum of 100,000 visitors to this coastal strip to watch the launch of the Artemis I from Cape Canaveral next Monday.
Everything is ready for the megarocket’s liftoff at 8:33 a.m. that day from launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, a journey that marks the beginning of man’s return to the Moon.
This is the first unmanned mission of the Artemis program with which NASA plans to end a parenthesis of more than 50 years without man having set foot on the Earth satellite.
“Most of the hotel rooms along the beach are sold out,” the executive director of the Florida Space Coast Tourism Office, Peter Cranis, told Efe, noting that those at Cape Canaveral, a stone’s throw away Kennedy Center stone, are the only beaches in this state that also serve as space launch observation points.
Should mishaps force NASA at the last minute to postpone the launch to September 2 or 5, previously defined dates, Cranis has no doubt that the number of visitors will comfortably exceed 200,000, given that it coincides with a long weekend in the US for the Labor Day holiday.
The manager recalls that in 2020 and 2021 this Florida space coast, which covers some 72 miles (115 kilometers) in length, set the record for launches in the world by adding more than 30 each of those years, an increase driven by the entry at stake from private companies such as SpaceX or the United Launch Alliance (ULA).
“As of July we already surpassed that number and there are still many more (launches) planned for the rest of the year,” said the executive director, adding that there is currently an average of one launch every week in this part of the coast. Florida, where, in addition to the Kennedy Center, the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is located.
“Sometimes we have multiple launches in a week, in fact we recently had two launches in a single day,” Cranis noted.
The executive also referred to the construction in recent years of new hotels in the area and the existence of several projects under development, which will allow a greater hotel infrastructure for the coming years, when the following missions, among others, take off of the Artemis program.
A HISTORICAL MISSION
With the countdown to start on Saturday, NASA engineers and technicians adjust the final details for the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the most powerful built to date, with the spacecraft Orion at its peak, already on the launch pad.
This spacecraft, almost 350 feet (106 meters) tall, taking into account the 8 meters of the Orion spacecraft, will embark on a 42-day unmanned mission in which it will circle the Moon and reach some 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) more beyond the terrestrial satellite, to then make the return journey.
As NASA has pointed out, the journey will serve to test the performance of the SLS rocket and the capabilities of the Orion capsule, in which, predictably in 2024, the Artemis II crew will travel, which is expected to make the same journey.
Astronauts will not travel on next Monday’s mission, but dummies covered with sensors to measure the effect of space radiation on the human body will.
In 2025, according to the space agency’s plans, the Artemis III manned mission is expected to land somewhere on the Moon’s south pole, in which it will be a full-fledged return to the Earth’s satellite and also with the first woman and person of color as part of his crew.
Manned launches have always been a great attraction for tourists, as Cranis points out, and hence the return to the Moon with the Artemis program is such an important new era of space exploration that is expected, starting in the next few days. , a large influx of visitors eager to “see history in progress”.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.