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Countdown to launch begins for NASA moon rocket

Meteorologists predict a 70% chance of favorable weather conditions for liftoff on Aug. 29.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It's getting closer to launch day and NASA announced it will begin the official countdown for launch as early as Saturday.

At 10:23 a.m., NASA teams will begin the countdown to launch Artemis I to the moon. The historical event is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors.

Meteorologists with U.S. Space Force Launch Delta 45 predict a 80% chance of favorable weather, NASA says. The launch window opens at 8:33 a.m. at launchpad 39B at Kennedy Space Center.

The rocket will travel more than half a million miles to the moon and back on an uncrewed mission for future space exploration. Over the past week NASA teams have been working diligently to safely prepare the rocket and give final approval of readiness. 

"The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II," NASA says.

The mission will last 42 days, 3 hours and 20 minutes with its "splashdown" set for Oct. 10 off the coast of San Diego.

In the future, NASA plans to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon.

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