NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft is now orbiting the moon.
Orion It has been making its circuitous way to Earth’s nearest neighbor ever since Launching last Wednesday (November 16) in NASA Artemis 1 Expedition. On Friday afternoon (November 25), the capsule finally reached its destination.
Orion performed an 88-second engine burn Friday at 4:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT) that successfully put the spacecraft into a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) around the moon as planned.
Shortly before the incineration took place, Orion had been traveling over 57,000 miles [92,000 kilometers] above the surface of the moon, indicating the farthest distance from the moon it will be during the mission,” NASA officials said wrote in the update (Opens in a new tab) Soon after the burn ended. “While in lunar orbit, flight controllers will monitor major systems and perform exit operations while in a deep space environment.”
DRO Orion takes about 40,000 miles (64,000 km) beyond the Moon at its farthest point. As it travels this trajectory, the capsule will set a new record, getting farther from Earth than any previous human-class spacecraft.
The current mark of 248,655 miles (400,171 km) is maintained by NASA Apollo 13 mission, which was not intended to travel that far. Apollo 13 orbited the Moon instead of landing on the object after the spacecraft’s Deep Space Service Module oxygen tank failed.
NASA officials said Orion will break Apollo 13’s record on Saturday morning (November 26). But the capsule will continue to put Earth in its rear mirror for two more days, reaching a maximum distance of 272,515 miles (438,570 km) on Monday (November 28).
Orion will spend just under a week at DRO. The capsule will leave lunar orbit with an engine burning on December 1, and then begin its return to Earth. Orion will arrive here on December 11th with a splash in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, if all goes well.
The roughly 26-day Artemis 1 mission is designed to examine the massive Orion and NASA mission Space launch system The rocket, which sent the capsule into the sky last week, is ahead of planned manned flights to the Moon.
These astronauts’ first flights, Artemis 2will send Orion around the moon in 2024. Artemis 3 It will then boot up near the moon’s south pole in 2025 or 2026. More landing missions will follow, as NASA builds a crewed research site in the south polar region—a major goal for Artemis program.
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