The Washington Post

NASA sets dates for return to the moon

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NASA is planning to take the first step in its return to the moon in late August or early September with the launch of its Orion spacecraft to orbit around the moon, agency officials said Wednesday.

The much-anticipate­d flight, which won’t have astronauts onboard, will take off on Aug. 29, Sept. 2 or Sept. 5, NASA said, giving the first concrete dates for a mission that has been in the works for years.

The flight also will mark the first launch of the agency’s massive Space Launch System rocket, a significan­t milestone in its Artemis campaign to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

Given the complexity of the vehicles and the fact that NASA has not launched the SLS rocket before, NASA stressed that the dates for a launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida were tentative and could change.

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