Months, if not years, of preparation, had culminated into this one moment. NASA’s largest rocket yet, Artemis-1, was beginning preparations for its first-ever test launch. August 29 was shaping up to be a day for the history books, the day that NASA proved it could send a man back to the moon for the first time in fifty years and maybe even further beyond.
However, while Artemis was gearing for launch, disaster struck. One of Artemis’ engines began to experience temperature issues, and the launch was postponed. The 2nd and 5th of September were selected as potential backup launch dates, but as those days came and went, there was no launch. The cause of the engine malfunction was later revealed on the 5th as a leak of liquid hydrogen. However, not all hope for Artemis’ launch has been lost, as it was recently announced that NASA will attempt another launch on September 27. Whether the launch will succeed or not will remain to be seen.
Despite disappointing many expectant onlookers, Artemis-1 succeeded in reigniting the spark of hope that humanity may be able to return to the moon for the first time in nearly half a decade. The dream of landing on the moon is shared by most people, especially those who were around when NASA was still sending astronauts up to our natural satellite. Even for those without that dream, the idea of exploration of something unknown has been a concept shared throughout the ages. Because of this, NASA’s unofficial switch to exclusively unmanned spacecraft shattered the dreams that many had.
It’s been almost 50 years since then, and humanity has been waiting long enough. Although considerable progress has been made through things like the Voyager program and the Exploration rovers, the coming launch will mark the beginning of a new era of space exploration. The day that we, as a species, return to the moon will be considered another one of mankind’s most significant accomplishments, and may even be considered mankind’s second leap.