▶️ WATCH: NASA’s mightiest moon rocket lifts off 50 years after Apollo

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new moon rocket has blasted off on its debut flight with three test dummies aboard.

Wednesday’s Florida launch brings the U.S. a big step closer to putting astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the end of the Apollo program 50 years ago.

If all goes well with the three-week flight, the crew capsule will be propelled into a wide orbit around the moon, before returning to Earth with a Pacific splashdown in December.

NASA hopes to send four astronauts around the moon on the next flight, in 2024, and land humans there as early as 2025.

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