Finally, it happened. The SLS rocket carrying the capsule is on its way to the moon. This is the first time in 50 years that a human capable vehicle is going to the moon after years of delays and two scrubbed launches. It's fitting that Artemis launched in the dark, as the last human-rated vehicle that launched to the Moon had liftoff at night.

Jim Free, NASA deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said that it took a lot to get here, but that it is now on its way to the Moon. The successful launch means NASA and our partners are on a path to explore farther in space than ever before.

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

At 1:45 a.m., Artemis I started its journey. The launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first integrated flight test of NASA's deep space exploration systems is taking place. This rocket is NASA's best hope for one day returning people to the surface of the moon. Artemis I won't land on the Moon, but will fly by it on November 21st, performing a close approach of the lunar surface.