Composed by Joey Roulette and Steve Gorman
A launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, was reported by Reuters on Monday
Hours after taking off from Florida on its first trip, NASA's massive next-generation rocketship was on
pace for a crewless cruise around the moon and back on Wednesday, half a century after the last lunar mission of the Apollo era.
At 1:47 a.m. EST the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, sending a reddish-orange tail of fire slicing across the night sky over Cape Canaveral.
NASA reported that the top stage of the rocket successfully sent the Orion capsule out of Earth orbit and on its track to the moon, some 90 minutes after liftoff.
The launch was saved by the quick effort of a special team of technicians who, far within the "blast zone" delineated around a nearly fully fuelled rocket, secured a loose link.