WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following remarks as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches the Artemis I uncrewed flight test. The flight test was launched today at 1:47 a.m. EST from the Kennedy Space Center and is scheduled to return to Earth in four to six weeks.
“Today marks a major step toward the next era of human space exploration as NASA launches the first flight test of the Artemis space exploration program,” Wicker said. “This flight test of the Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful in the world, and the Orion spacecraft will demonstrate its groundbreaking abilities during its mission around the Moon.
“The Artemis program will ensure that the U.S. continues its leadership in space, providing a platform for exploration of the Moon and beyond. The valuable research opportunities provided by this program will inspire a new generation of leaders to pursue careers in science and technology, while also supporting economic growth.
“I am also proud of the role my home state of Mississippi has played in this historic launch. As the nation’s premier rocket engine test facility, the road to space has gone through Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi since the Apollo Program started in 1966. The hard-working Mississippians at Stennis Space Center will forever hold a significant role in this incredible moment in history.”
Artemis I is the first in a series of missions to build the world’s first sustainable presence on and around the Moon. Upon completion of the mission, NASA’s groundbreaking Orion spacecraft will have flown 40,000 miles past the moon, which is farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
According to NASA, the Artemis program has been contributed to by industry partners in all 50 states, and has provided extensive support to the American economy by creating 90,000 jobs and over $14 billion in economic output.
To track NASA’s Artemis I mission in real time, click here.