NASA prepares for launch Monday, “War Eagle” to join the ride

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 11:45 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The successor of NASA’s space shuttle program will be on full display Monday morning at Cape Canaveral, Florida with some connections to Auburn University.

Watching from home will be many men and women from Alabama who helped make the mission possible.

(”I’m most excited about when we get Orion out it will be 40 thousand miles on the far side of the moon,” said NASA Chief Planning Officer Nujoud Merancy. “It will be able to look back and take a selfie of the moon ‚with the moon and everything behind it. So that will be the furthest a human capable has ever been.”

The Artemis 1 mission is the first of several ambitious plans from NASA to return American astronauts to the Moon and beyond. The unmanned rocket is more than 300-feet tall and will carry NASA’s Orion spacecraft more than 280-thousand miles away. Much of the work on NASA’s new system has been completed in Huntsville, Alabama at the Marshall Space Flight Center. More than two hundred employees at Marshall are graduates of Auburn University.

And according to Marshall Deputy Director Joseph Pelfrey, an Auburn alum himself, the battle cry “War Eagle” is written somewhere inside the rocket (although he will not confirm where).

The Artemis I launch is scheduled for 8:33 AM ET Monday.