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Working in Tandem: NASA’s Networks Empower Artemis I

The Artemis I Space Launch System rocket carrying Orion lifts off from its launch pad, lighting up the night sky with its fiery back end. Smoke billows out from the side.
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA’s Artemis missions are returning humanity to the Moon and beginning a new era of lunar exploration. Soon, the agency plans to launch the Artemis I mission, an uncrewed flight test that will take a spacecraft designed to carry humans farther than any before.

Although uncrewed, Artemis I will test essential systems for future crewed missions to the lunar region, including the first-ever launch of NASA’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS rocket will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and enter a complex orbit to bring the Orion spacecraft to the Moon.

Throughout its journey, the Artemis I mission, including Orion and SLS, will receive comprehensive communications and navigation services from NASA’s two networks: the Near Space Network and the Deep Space Network.

These services are essential during launch, orbit, and re-entry – all phases of the mission. The video below details each network’s support and the collaboration needed between the two to get essential spacecraft and science data from the mission.

This first test of Artemis I will help NASA to prepare the networks for future crewed voyages to the lunar region, and later, on to Mars.

Read more about the networks and their support of Artemis I here.

Artemis I communications and navigation milestones
Artemis I communications and navigation milestones
NASA / Dave Ryan

About the Author

Katherine Schauer

Katherine Schauer

Katherine Schauer is a writer for the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program office and covers emerging technologies, commercialization efforts, exploration activities, and more.



Last Updated
Jan 25, 2024
Katherine Schauer