Why is NASA's science chief so ecstatic about the historic moon mission?

NASA's moon mission has a large amount of science to complete.

The search for lunar water, as well as Artemis 1's other scientific goals, mark the start of a major moon-to-Mars push.

Artemis 1 is set to launch as early as Monday (August 29), carrying an Orion spacecraft around the moon atop the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket.

"Of course, the Artemis programme is to do long-term exploration on the moon, but... to really turn around and look at Mars as our destination."

Artemis 1 will be "risky," according to Zurbuchen, because it will include an unflown SLS rocket and a spacecraft that has only been in space once before, in 2014.

Accurate resource assessments on the lunar surface will be critical now that NASA hopes to land astronauts at the south pole.

A crowd of 100,000 people is expected to gather on Florida's Space Coast to witness the launch.

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