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Editor’s note: Keep an eye on NASA Twitter for launch updates

Here’s hoping the second time is the charm! After a leaky fuel line scrubbed the launch of NASA’s moon rocket earlier this week, the second attempt is scheduled for 2:17 p.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. 

The launch is the maiden mission for the Artemis program, which will eventually return astronauts to the moon for the first time in 50 years. The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket—touted as the most powerful rocket ever built—and uncrewed Orion spacecraft are ready and waiting on pad 39B at Cape Canaveral, and reports point to favorable conditions for the historic launch Monday morning. 

Artemis I is headed for lunar orbit this trip, but will deliver astronauts to the surface of the moon on future missions.

This mission is historic for another reason too—it marks the first time a woman will oversee a mission as launch director. South Carolina native Charlie Blackwell-Thompson told Florida Today. “When I grew up, I don’t know if I ever saw myself in this particular role. I knew that I was good in math and science, but I wasn’t one of those young people who grew up knowing exactly what they wanted to do. But studying in the STEM field opened up a lot of doors for me. What I would say to young women is, if there’s something you’re passionate about, if there’s something that you can dream it, I am proof that you can do it.”

Watch the stream live here:

The rocket will travel 1.3 million miles over the course of about 40 days during its mission. NASA says the goal of the Artemis program is to send astronauts not only to the moon, but to Mars and deep space. It signals the beginning of a new era in space exploration, and Monday’s launch will be an exciting first step to witness. 

Editor’s note: NASA posts about launch delays and schedule changes on its social media: 

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