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Missile Attack in Poland Rattles NATO Countries; E.U. and Other World Leaders Condemns Russia's Invasion of Ukraine; Former President Trump Throws Early Bid for the White House; Trump's Announcement May Hurt the GOP; Artemis One Flies to the Moon. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 16, 2022 - 03:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN center, this is CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

We are following two major stories this hour. A Russian made missile has killed two people in Poland in what could be a significant turning point in the war in Ukraine. Russia denies it fired the projectile but the incident has prompted an emergency meeting of world leaders at the G20 summit in Indonesia.

Plus, Donald Trump wants another term in the White House. He says Joe Biden and the Democrats have ruined the country and only his America first policies can get the U.S. back on track.

Well, first to the deadly missile explosion in Poland. An investigation into the incident which left two Polish citizens dead is already underway. Officials say the missile was Russian made, but who fired it and where it was fired from is still unclear.

Poland is considering invoking NATO's article four, which would trigger talks with the alliances decision making body. The missile fell in a village near Poland's border with Ukraine and set off a storm of diplomatic activity.

In the coming hours NATO will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels before leaving the G20 summit in Indonesia. U.S. President Joe Biden also participated in an emergency meeting with G7 and NATO leaders. Mr. Biden struck a cautious tone while speaking with reporters. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened. It's unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we -- we will see.


CHURCH: Well, CNN has correspondents covering all the angles. Nina dos Santos is in London. White House reporter Kevin Liptak is in Bali, Indonesia, along with senior international correspondent Ivan Watson.

Welcome, everyone. So, I want to start with you, Kevin. Before his departure, President Biden held those emergency meetings with world leaders in Bali on this Russian made missile falling on NATO ally Poland. What more are you learning about those talks, those meetings?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, really the urgent mission for these leaders in these talks is trying to determine where this missile was fired from because the implications are so high. Poland, of course, is a member of NATO. That means that they are covered by the NATO article five. That's the Collective Defense Treaty, an attack against one is an attack against all.

And so, if that missile were to have been fired from Russia, that would create enormous consequences for this war. It would be a major escalation. And so, certainly the leaders want to make sure that they have it right once they say where this missile came from.

Now you heard President Biden after he emerged from those emergency talks with members of the G7 and some members of NATO. He said that he thought it was unlikely that it was fired from Russia, but he did couch it. He said he wanted to see the full intelligence first. Make sure that it was definitive.

Now, we know that both Russia and Ukraine are using Russian made munitions in this war. And the Russ -- or the Polish government has said that this was a Russian made missile. And you talked to that Ukrainian advisor last hour, Rosemary, who said that he wanted to be cautious as well.

So, there's a lot of intelligence to go through and what American officials say is that their intelligence on this sort of thing is actually pretty good that they would be able to track the trajectory of this missile to determine where it came from.

Now, President Biden, in the last couple of hours or so, he did get on Air Force One. It is about a 24-hour flight back to Washington, but certainly he will continue to be updated by his senior most officials. He did speak earlier today with the Polish president. He also spoke to the NATO secretary general.

Now in Brussels today they will be convening, a meeting of the NATO ambassadors under article four of NATO. You hear a lot about article five. Article four is the collective -- conference collective, discussion about what the next steps will be.


And so, it will be interesting to see what comes out of that meeting later. Rosemary? CHURCH: Yes, a careful investigation critical at this juncture.

Thanks for that. I want to go to Ivan now for global reaction to this missile landing in Poland. Ivan, what's being said?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, well, European allies of Poland, members of the E.U. and of NATO, they have poured in messages of condolence and solidarity offered to assist with the investigation as well. And as to the origins of this missile strike.

There have also been condemnations Russia, not particularly for the death of the two people in Poland, but for the barrage of rockets that fell on Ukraine throughout the day on Tuesday. Let's take a listen to the European Union -- European Commission president and what she had to say.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: While we were meeting in G20, and while we were calling for the end of the war, Russia conducted massive missile strikes against Ukraine. Deliberately, Russia is targeting cities and civilian infrastructure, cutting off children, women and men from water, electricity, and heating. We all condemn these brutal acts by Russia.


WATSON: Now President Biden was here in Bali leading a coalition of allies ranging from Canada to European countries to Japan and South Korea, seeking to isolate and punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war that began last February.

The summit here was hosted by the Indonesian president, who today gave another speech in which he repeated in Indonesian, stop this war, stop this war. And the G20 Leaders' Declaration, which is an enormous document, more than 1,100 pages, the Ukraine war is at the front, the very first page of it, in which all sides seem to have agreed that the war in Ukraine has further adversely impacted the global economy.

The statement goes on to say, quote, "most members strongly condemn the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy." It goes on to suggest that all of the members agree that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is in admissible.

Now the G20 includes Russia, which of course the Moscow is not going to condemn itself. It claims that this war was started by NATO and the west, and Russia's allied China which has been very loath to openly criticize Russia's conduct of the war. Back to you.

CHURCH: Right. And meantime, Nina, Russia is denying firing this missile into Poland. What is the latest on Russia's reaction?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, they've repeatedly denied any involvement in this missile landing on Polish, and indeed NATO territory. And in fact, overnight, perhaps seizing upon Joe Biden, the U.S. President's comment reporters there saying the early indications are that this may have been potentially a stray Ukrainian missile.

We saw the representative to the United Nations of the Russian Federation say, quote, "any attempt to pro -- any -- this incident was an attempt to provoke a direct clash between NATO and Russia, a military clash," it says.

Then the former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev took to Twitter and went further. As you can see, he said the incidents with the Ukrainian alleged missile strike, in quotation marks, on a Polish farm proves just one thing. Waging a hybrid war against Russia, the west moves closer to World War.

Really worrying talk there from somebody who's hyper politically connected to the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev. But in the meantime, obviously the diplomatic wheels are turning to try and engage some kind of detente, if you like here. There's confusion, obviously because both Ukraine and Russia use the same, as post-Soviet states, use the same missile and missile defense systems.

And what might help clear up this confusion is the fact that NATO has been monitoring the launches of all of these missiles as they have been throughout the course of this war over the last few months in Ukraine, particularly yesterday when, of course, Ukraine was subjected to that very significant barrage of Russian missiles.

So, NATO have indicated that they have been monitoring this particular missile. They appear to understand where it was fired from and how it ended up in Polish territory with fatal consequences for two people. But they haven't yet said what they know. We may find a little bit more later on when of course, that NATO meeting gets underway in Brussels in about an hour's time.


And then, later on today, there's also going to be a U.N. Security Council meeting, and you're likely to hear talk of this dominate the agenda there as well, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, exactly why an investigation is so critical of this juncture. Kevin Liptak, Ivan Watson, Nina dos Santos, many thanks to all three of you for bringing us up to date on the situation.





CHURCH: We are barely a week past the U.S. midterm elections, but the 2024 race for the White House already -- his -- he's -- well, you can see there, Trump is wanting to throw his hat in the ring here.

Donald Trump announcing his candidacy Tuesday night in Florida promising to defeat Joe Biden and the quote, "radical Democrats" with his America first agenda. The former president vowed to bring down inflation, make the U.S. energy independent, and secure the border with Mexico.

If he wins, Trump would be the first U.S. president elected two non- consecutive terms since Grover Cleveland in 1892.


TRUMP: Under Biden and the radical Democrats, America has been mocked, derided, and brought to its knees, perhaps like never before. But we are here tonight to declare that it does not have to be this way.

Two years ago, we were a great nation, and soon we will be a great nation again.


CHURCH: Joining me now from Los Angeles, Democratic strategist and Occidental College professor, Caroline Heldman, and from Washington CNN political commentator and former Republican Congressman, Charlie Dent.

Good to see you both.


CHURCH: So, the big political story, of course, Donald Trump announcing a very early bid for president in 2024, his third attempt, and it comes after his big losses in the midterm elections and when Republicans and party donors appointing the finger of blame at Trump for the GOP's abysmal showing.

Charlie, what will likely happen now with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence, of course, also, both of them waiting in the wings along with others.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first I think most Republicans really are very upset about president's announcement because there's a Georgia runoff going on. Many feel that his announcement will not help the candidacy of Herschel Walker in Georgia. That the runoff would become much more about Donald Trump and that, so that's a big problem.

But the other issue, I think Donald Trump is trying to condition the field for 2024 by jumping in now, he's essentially issuing a challenge to his would-be challengers, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, Governor Hogan, and others who might jump, jump in, say, you know, come on, jump in.

And frankly, I think Donald Trump would prefer if more of them jumped into the race because with a larger field that would likely help Donald Trump gain a plurality in the nomination process. So, right now, I think Trump has just thrown down the gauntlet.

He wants in even though he is a diminished figure, his star is setting not rising and he is certainly taking a lot of the blame for Republican underperformance in the last week's election as he should be, given the fact that he made the election about himself and unhelpfully intervened in so many of the primaries, nominating -- helping to nominate candidates who are unfit and really added to significant Republican losses.

So, he's in, and we'll see how these others react, but I think some mem -- some of his would-be challengers won't jump into the race as long as Trump is in there as a viable figure because of his strong base of support.

CHURCH: Interesting. And Caroline, Trump's announcement is a gift for Democrats, but they won't be so happy, if and when Ron DeSantis enters the field. How big a threat is he to Joe Biden and will Trump overcome the new interest that the GOP has now in Ron DeSantis?

HELDMAN: Well, I think the primary well weaken Ron DeSantis because Donald Trump is still the most popular member of the party. Although some early Republican polls are finding that DeSantis bests Trump in some of these key early primaries. Now it's way too far out for us to really know anything and that's part of the problem. Why are we talking about this, two years before presidential election. It's simply exhausting.

But I do imagine that Donald Trump will inspire what he inspired in 2020, which is historic voter turnout. It was the highest turnout this century, the highest turnout since the 1960s. Nearly two-thirds of voters turned out to vote, and that's about a 10-point bump over typical presidential elections.


And people were not voting for Joe Biden. He was just fine. He doesn't really inspire Democrats if you look at polls. People were turning out against Donald Trump. So, if Trump is the nominee, I expect really high turnout. And if he's not the nominee, I expect that DeSantis will be pretty bloody by the end of the primary battle.

CHURCH: And of course, meantime, the GOP surprise losses in the midterms, particularly in the Senate, have triggered leadership wars within the party with the Senate, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell coming under threat from Rick Scott.

What will likely be the outcome of that leadership fight, do you think, Charlie?

DENT: Well look, the roadside is littered with the carcasses of people who have underestimated Mitch McConnell. Yes, there appears to be a bit of a challenge brewing to Mitch McConnell, but it clearly appears that Mitch McConnell has more than enough votes to be the Republican leader in the Senate.

You know, I know some of them are trying to say that the -- some of his challenges are trying to suggest that somehow the problem was the Republicans in the Senate didn't have an agenda to run on. Well, the truth is, these midterm elections are always about the party in power and the president or the party in power. It's really not so much about the agenda of the party out of powder -- power.

And so, I think some of the folks who are challenging McConnell right now are trying to deflect blame from themselves because they were too close to the, you know, to the election denial movement, you know, just too close to too much of the excesses of Donald Trump. And frankly, too supportive of too many of these candidates who the American people rejected because they were seen as too extreme.

Republicans lost the election not because of Mitch McConnell, but because of the Dobbs decision. Donald Trump's unhelpful interventions into these primary contests that nominated these unfit candidates. And, also, again, the election denial -- election denialism and the looking back at 2020.

So, it's a bunch of reasons why Republicans lost. I would say those are the biggest reasons and probably most especially the Dobbs decision on abortion.

CHURCH: And Caroline, we are all used to seeing disunity within the Democratic Party, but now it's the Republicans that are battling at all levels from the fight for the presidency to leadership squabbles in the Senate and the House. What do you think will likely happen to the very calculating Mitch McConnell, and also, because I think you've got the last question here to answer.

Let's talk about Kevin McCarthy. Because while he has the votes for now and will likely take the speak -- speakership role in the House, he's going to really struggle, isn't he, with that razor thin majority?

HELDMAN: It's not a job that I would want. Kevin McCarthy certainly has his work cut out for him. As you point out, Rosemary, he will have a very slim majority in the House, and while getting that majority means you run the board in terms of committee chairpersonship, in terms of deciding what ad hoc committees are set up.

And we should expect to see like a lot of, you know, investigations of Hunter Biden and these sort of partisan investigations which Republicans are fond of doing and sometimes Democrats, we'll see a lot of that.

But what you'll also see is Kevin McCarthy having to capitulate to the extremists in his party, the Freedom Caucus and others, simply because he has so little leeway, because he won't have much of a majority and he also has to pitch to the center. He has to keep everyone happy. That is an impossible job. and it is one that he may not hold in January because he actually needs to garner 218 -- sorry, yes, 218 votes not the 188 he has now.

Once they get back in session, he needs everyone together and that means something along the lines of what he's already done, which has gone with his, you know, head and his hat and his hand, and going and apologizing to folks who he was critical of post-January 6th. So, not a -- not a fun job for Kevin McCarthy moving forward.

CHURCH: We're all watching very carefully. Caroline Heldman and Charlie Dent, many thanks for your analysis. I appreciate it.

HELDMAN: Thank you, Rosemary.

DENT: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Inflation in the United Kingdom has soar to a 41-year high reaching 11.1 percent last month. That is a sharp rise from September when it was just over 10 percent. The biggest increases are food prices and home energy costs with British households now paying almost double for electricity and gas compared to last year.

The new government data was published just a day before Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is due to announce new tax hikes and spending cuts to help curb inflation.


UNKNOWN: Three, two, one, boosters in ignition and lift off of Artemis One. We rise together back to the Moon and beyond.


CHURCH: There it is. The third time is a charm. The Artemis One Moon rocket blasted off just a short time ago for a 26-day mission.


Despite some delays earlier due to technical glitches, the rocket is now officially the most powerful one ever to reach Earth's orbit after the first launch attempts were scrubbed in August and September.

Late Tuesday, the team had to address an issue tied to a crucial radar system. They also had to fix another liquid hydrogen leak. This first phase of the Artemis mission is an unmanned test flight, and the ultimate goal is to return astronauts to the Moon and someday send humans to Mars.

And we will have much more on the historic mission later this hour in a live report.

Well, as Donald Trump announces another bid for the White House, politics isn't the only thing he's got on his plate. We will run through the lawsuits, investigations, and controversies involving the former president. That's just ahead. Stay with us.



CHURCH: We are still two years away from the 2024 presidential election, but one White House hopeful has already thrown his hat in the ring. Donald Trump says Joe Biden's America is in ruins with rampant crime, spiraling inflation, and the war in Ukraine. Trump says his policies will make America great again and restore the U.S.'s standing on the world stage.

The former president played down the disappointing performance by Republicans in last week's midterm elections claiming Americans don't realize how bad things are.

Well, many Democrats are expressing their delight at Trump's announcement. Some say they would love their party to take on the twice impeached former president in 2024. Others are looking forward to a bruising Republican primary, possibly between Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

President Biden tweeted Donald Trump failed America, and even a number of Republicans are expressing doubt about Trump's new White House bid. Take a listen.


GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R-MA): We need as a party to move past President Trump.

FMR. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): Trump is dragging the party down.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Trump has cost us the last three elections and I don't want to see it happen a fourth time.


CHURCH: Well, as Donald Trump faces the political challenges of running for president again, he's also dealing with a number of legal headaches. Investigations stemming from the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are just part of his problems.

Tom Foreman breaks it down.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The former president is facing a constellation of legal challenges which could derail any future plans he has. And they are very active right now. The grand jury probe in Atlanta into whether Trump illegally tried to overturn Georgia's 2020 election. We'll see several big names testifying this week.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, as well as Governor Brian Kemp, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Now that they're twin legal attempts to avoid appearing have failed. Scheduled next week retired General Michael Flynn.

The New York attorney general has a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest children and others tied to the Trump Organization accusing them of extensive financial fraud. The Manhattan district attorney is steaming through a criminal trial against the Trump Organization, alleging a series of illegal tax dodges with former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg testifying.

Trump has consistently denied all of the claims in these cases. And then there is Mar-a-Lago and those papers seized by the FBI amid suspicions Trump may have illegally taken sensitive documents from the White House to his Florida home.

Just this week, Trump's team said in a new filing that all the material was personal, because allegedly Trump said so while president.

The Justice Department says, nonsense. Allowing a president that kind of power would nullify the whole purpose of the law protecting presidential records for the public.

And then there is the big bear January 6th. The congressional select committee says the deadline passed. Trump failed to comply with their subpoena for documents and testimony about his actions around the January 6th insurrection.

His legal team has argued the committee has no right to such things, but that claim could face a much stiffer test if the Department of Justice probe into January 6th produces as some think it might charge against Trump.

Again, Trump says in all of this he has done nothing wrong, but any of it could pose serious challenges to whatever he wants to do next.


CHURCH: Well, in the past few hours, CNN House called several races in the U.S. House of Representatives projecting three seats for Republicans and three for Democrats, with 11 races still outstanding. These latest projections give Republicans a total of 217 seats in the House. Now that means they need just one more to take control of the chamber.

And still to come, the latest on the deadly missile that landed in Polish territory as Poland and NATO investigate who fired it and where it came from. We will have a live report from Brussels.

Plus, a day of destruction across Ukraine as dozens of Russian missiles rain down on the country. Coming up, the devastating attacks that left millions of Ukrainians without power. Back with that and more in just a moment.



CHURCH: Back to our top story, the explosion that killed two people in a Polish village on Tuesday. Poland says it was caused by a Russian made missile. At this hour, it is still unclear who fired it and where it was fired from. The missile landed about six and a half kilometers or four miles west of the Ukrainian border. At roughly the same time, Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in a month.

[03:34:58] A NATO official tell CNN that a NATO aircraft flying in Polish airspace tracked that missile. The Polish president says his country is trying to determine who is responsible.


ANDRZEJ DUDA, PRESIDENT OF POLAND (through translator): Of course, we know that all day today Russia was attacking Ukraine with rockets, but we do not have any conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched this missile. The investigation is underway.


CHURCH: And a short time ago I spoke with Yuri Zak, an adviser to the Ukrainian defense minister, and I asked him if it was possible that this missile, which killed two polish civilians on Polish territory was fired by Ukraine.


YURI ZAK, ADVISER TO THE UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: At this stage, it is very important to be very cautious with definitive conclusions. And of course, since this incident, this tragic incident, it happened on the territory of Poland, of our partner and friend Poland. So, we'll have to wait until the final conclusions of our investigation.

And of course, we have said yesterday that we welcome a full and thorough investigation of this incident. But what we have to understand is that yesterday was the largest missile attack on our country since the beginning of this large-scale invasion. Almost 100 missiles were fired in Ukraine. Millions of people have been left without electricity.

So, this is an important thing that happened yesterday, and neither this massive missile attack nor the tragic incident in Poland would've happened, you know, if this war was not going on, if Russia did not invade our country, if Ukrainian skies were closed.

And we've been requesting to close our skies for a long time now, and we are talking to our international partners about this almost on a daily basis. And actually today, there will be a runtime meeting of the ministers of defense of over 50 countries. And we believe and we are almost confident that, you know, the air defense capabilities of Ukraine will continue to be a top priority both for us and for our international partners.


CHURCH: And for more, we go now to Melissa Bell who joins us live from NATO headquarters in Brussels. Good to see you, Melissa.

So, the consequences of this missile, our landing in Poland are immense Of course. And that is exactly why a thorough investigation is so critical at this time. What more are you learning about that?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It is because of all the potential consequences, the invoking of article four, the invoking of article five at some point, were to be decided that this had been a strike that Poland considered a threat to himself -- itself. Of course, those consequences mean that the first thing is the investigation there.

What's going on the ground, Rosemary, of course, in that village near Polish border where those tragic events unfolded. And then there is what we're about to hear here at NATO headquarters. And then the next 20 minutes or so, a meeting will begin of NATO ambassadors.

And the first thing they're going to be looking at, Rosemary, is what all of the intelligence from the United States, from all the NATO alliance partners to look at what their belief this, this missile came from, what its origin was, and what the most likely scenario is. Then they will discuss, of course, what response needs to follow.

And of course, what they're going to have to do is try and find a response that is at once unified and strong and clear but without necessarily being escalatory, of course. They're going to have to be extremely careful with what the response is. The first thing is to figure out exactly what happened.

But almost certainly, regardless of, or what we end up finding out about the origin of this missile is. And if it does turn out that it is a missile, a Ukrainian anti-missile system, for instance, that was used even so this is likely to reignite and it's begun already.

There's been a call on the part of Ukraine and the most closest countries of NATO, the Baltic states and Poland have long been calling for a no fly zone. Whatever happens today at these meetings, Rosemary, this is no doubt a call that will be refueled given new life as a result of the events of last night near the border of Poland with Ukraine, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. Thank you. Melissa Bell keeping a very close eye on all of that, joining us live from Brussels. I appreciate it.

Well, next here on CNN Newsroom, to the Moon and beyond. After several technical glitches and weeks of delays, the Artemis One mission is finally underway, and we will have the latest on the launch and what NASA hopes to achieve. That's ahead in a live report.




UNKNOWN: Three, two, one, boosters and ignition and lift off of Artemis One. We rise together back to the Moon and beyond.


CHURCH: After a nail-biting series of technical glitches and delays, the Artemis One rocket blasted off just a couple of hours ago for its 26-day mission to the Moon. The team had to address critical radar issues and a hydrogen fuel leak shortly before the launch window opened.

It was the third attempt to launch this rocket, the most powerful ever built. The first phase of the Artemis mission is an unmanned test flight, and the ultimate goal is to return astronauts to the Moon and someday send humans to Mars.


And I'm joined now by CNN space and defense correspondent, Kristin Fisher, who's at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

And Kristin, great to have you with us again.

So, you are not far from where the Artemis launched, and I know we did this last hour, but we do want to show that video again of your reaction the moment it launched.

Let's take a look.




CHURCH: So, Kristin, tell us what was going through your mind there, because of course, just an extraordinary moment. I know you've been following this and, and there it was. Success at last.

FISHER: Yes. A few things, Rosemary. One, I couldn't believe that after all these delays, two hurricanes, that it was finally launching. But watching it back there, I was also struck by the fact that what this rocket did was it really turned this entire area from night and today in a matter of seconds. It was like a super accelerated sunrise.

And then there was also this incredible crackle caused by those solid rocket boosters that not only were just incredibly loud, but you could literally feel them kind of shake your body, shake your skin almost.

And so, those are kind of two things that I feel like it's hard to really capture on TV. But being here, you got the sense that this whole sky turned into daylight as those solid rocket boosters in those four engines were firing, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. Just extraordinary. And Kristin, after that long awaited successful launch, what are you learning about its progress so far?

FISHER: So far, everything is going great. The solar arrays have deployed on the Orion spacecraft. They've also just completed what's called the trans lunar injection -- injection. It's a -- it's a burn essentially, which means there's an engine on the Orion spacecraft, a separate from the SLS rocket.

And it completed this roughly 18-minute-long burn. And so now the Orion spacecraft is well on its way to the Moon, and it's going to take between five and six days for it to get there. Then it's going to get within about 60 miles of the lunar surface, very close, we should be able to get some great images of that beamed back here to Earth.

Then it's going to fly farther than any other space craft designed to carry humans has ever flown, before finally coming back to Earth and splashing down sometime in mid-December, I believe December 11th or 12th.

But Rosemary, all systems good so far, an incredible launch, and so far, this mission to the Moon, is going very smoothly.

CHURCH: Yes. An incredible journey, isn't it? And Kristin, talk to us about the significance of this mission and what of course they're actually trying to achieve overall.

FISHER: Well, this is really the dawn of the Artemis era, right? Like during the 60s and 70s, it was all about the Apollo program and those men that stepped foot on the surface of the Moon. But this is a new generation. It's the beginning of the Artemis generation, which in Greek mythology Artemis is Apollo's twin sister.

And so, this program is about two things really. First, it's about landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon. It's about setting a staging ground for someday going on to Mars. But the other big difference between Artemis and Apollo, Rosemary, is this time NASA wants to leave behind a lot more than just flags and footprints on the surface of the moon. They want to build a base. They want to build something to stay a permanent human presence on the Moon. And tonight's launch, is really the beginning of that. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Right. And of course, as you point out, this is unmanned. This one. What's the timeline for when they have a crew on board?

FISHER: Well, that is -- that's what everybody wants to know, right? If all goes according to plan, they are hoping to have Artemis two, the first crude mission sometime in 2024, that would just take astronauts around the Moon. And then Artemis three would be the first mission where you actually have astronaut boots on the surface of the Moon. That would likely happen sometime in 2025.

But one other little bit of exciting news that we learned tonight from NASA administrator, Bill Nelson, or I should say, wait, it's this morning. So, this would be last night. I had to give my time straight here, Rosemary.

But NASA administrator Bill Nelson said last night, that if this mission Artemis One is a success, that they would then announce likely the first crew, the Artemis two crews, sometime within the next few months. So that's something obviously that every astronaut here, really anxious and looking forward to learning about.

CHURCH: Very exciting and yes, totally understand your overnight problems issues with time. I have it all the time.


Kristin Fisher, many thanks. I appreciate it.


CHURCH: And we'll be right back.


UNKNOWN: Seven, six, five, four, stage engine start. Three, two, one. Booster.



CHURCH: More charges have been announced for the suspected gunman in the University of Virginia shootings. The charges against Christopher Jones, Jr. come ahead of his first court appearance on Wednesday. The prosecutor tells CNN the new charges are related to the two people injured in Sunday's shooting a school.


A school spokesperson says Jones was on a bus with the victims as they were returning from a field trip to Washington, D.C. Three of the school's football players were killed when Jones allegedly opened fire on the bus. The motive is still unclear.

I want to get you up to date now on our top stories this hour. Right now, investigators in Eastern Poland are working to figure out where a missile that killed two people came from. Authorities have said it was Russian made, but who fired it and where it was fired from is still unclear.

Here in the U.S., Donald Trump has officially announced his plan to run for president in 2024. Trump claims Joe Biden and the Democrats have ruined the country with crime and inflation, and only his America first policies will get things back on track.

And thank you so much for spending part of your day with me. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN Newsroom continues with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo, next.