NASA’s newest spacecraft has taken to the skies over southern California for the first time, using the Apollo 18 moonwalk to launch a series of spacecraft for its mission to explore the moon.
The Apollo 18 mission was originally scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket in November 2020, but that mission was delayed by a hardware glitch that left it without a launch pad, and it was pushed back to Dec. 31.
Now, the new mission is on schedule, with the flight expected to take place in January, with another launch expected on Feb. 14.
The spacecraft will carry six spacecraft, and the mission team is hoping to collect enough data to create a high-resolution 3D map of the lunar surface.
The spacecraft will also carry an array of instruments, including a lander to survey the surface for signs of life.