In one of the images, it appears that there is an eclipse and we see the moon obscuring a large part of the earth.
The unmanned Orion spacecraft is on its final test mission. This takes the spacecraft developed by the US space agency not only to the moon, but also far beyond it. Having previously skimmed the lunar surface about 80 miles away, Orion has been speeding deeper into space. Yesterday, it reached the farthest point in the distant retrograde orbit of Orion. At that time, the spacecraft was more than 432,000 km from Earth.
It’s a record. He had never before ventured into a spaceship designed to transport humans into the depths of space. The great distance from Earth also seems to offer Orion a unique perspective on its home planet. After that, the spacecraft has already taken great close-up pictures of the moon. And I was also able to capture (part of) the Moon and Earth in one shot, and it turns out that some of the most beautiful pictures are made from deep space. Because far from the Moon, Orion can take the ultimate family photo, capturing both the Moon and Earth in all their glory.
But it doesn’t stop there. From that great distance, Orion also saw how the Moon moved in front of the Earth.
Orion is in good health
Meanwhile, Orion is doing great – about 13 days after launch. “It’s amazing how smoothly the mission went,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. Of course, the job is not over yet. Now that the spacecraft has reached the farthest point in its distant orbit, it has quickly returned to Earth. He should arrive there again on December 11th.
And with that comes the end of the long-awaited and much-delayed mission: the Artemis I mission. The purpose of this mission is to conduct extensive testing of both the new Orion spacecraft and the new Space Launch System launcher designed to propel Orion into space. To this end, NASA has drawn up a large checklist of components to be tested, of which approximately 37.5 percent have been identified so far. However, the mission remains exciting until the very last moment; The checklist also contains several things that can only be experienced during Orion’s return to Earth (a violent journey through Earth’s atmosphere, followed by a splash into the Pacific Ocean).
In 1968, while in lunar orbit, astronauts captured a stunning photograph of the Earth rising above the lunar surface. Orion also witnessed such an “Earthrise” a few days ago and also recorded it.
Important test flight
Much depends on the test flight. Because if all goes according to plan, this is a prelude to more. Much more. For example, a successful Artemis I should pave the way for Artemis II: a mission in which astronauts would tour Orion and then skip past the moon. Then it’s time for Artemis III: During this mission, some of the astronauts will actually return to the lunar surface.
And all this is a prelude to more. After all, manned flights to the moon should eventually lead to a base on the moon, where astronauts can stay for a longer period of time. The goal is to gain knowledge and experience that will be useful when NASA sets its sights on Mars: the next celestial body Americans want to send people to in the near future.
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