Vice President Kamala Harris to attend Artemis moon launch

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Vice President Kamala Harris plans to attend the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Monday, according to a release from the White House.

Harris and second gentlemen Doug Emhoff will be on hand with Harris delivering remarks ahead of the planned liftoff during a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. Harris is the chair of the National Space Council that helps inform President Joe Biden on space policy.

She will also tour the space center to view some of the hardware on hand for the Artemis II and III missions that expect to return humans to orbit the moon in 2024 and return humans including the first woman in 2025 to the lunar surface for the first since the last Apollo landing nearly 50 years ago.

Two of the Apollo program astronauts are also expected to be on site including one of the last men to walk on the moon, Harrison Schmitt, who flew on Apollo 17 and left the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 1972. Also on hand will be Apollo 10 astronaut Thomas Stafford. Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham had planned to attend, but NASA officials said he can no longer make it.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other officials will be at Kennedy, but names of other celebrities who may actually attend the launch have not been released.

A live broadcast of the launch will be aired on NASA’s social media channels and on NASA TV. It will include celebrity appearances by actors Jack Black, Chris Evans and Keke Palmer as well as performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Josh Grobin and Herbie Hancock and “America the Beautiful” by the Philadelphia Orchestra with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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