ARTEMIS1 LAUNCH LIVE: Launch delay as NASA engineers examine engine issues and cracks in the Space Launch System rocket body. The Space Launch System will launch today on a 42-day trip around the Moon.

NASA has begun preparations to launch the unmanned Space Launch System rocket as well Orion capsule, in part of its Artemis I mission.

Today is the beginning of mankind’s return from the Moon. The rocket will land within three years.

This mission will involve an uncrewed Orion satellite craft orbiting the moon, returning to Earth following a 42-day journey covering 1.3 miles.

If all goes to plan, another flight will follow in 2024 – this time with astronauts on board – before human boots once again grace the lunar surface a year later as part of NASA’s ambitious $93 billion (£63 billion) Artemis programme.

Campervans and campers have been arriving in Cape Canaveral this weekend to catch the spectacular rocket liftoff.

More than 200,000 people will line up to view the Kennedy Space Center launch from the causeways and beaches. Millions more worldwide will also be watching via television.

MailOnline will provide live updates on the launch via the blog.