NASA’s Orion capsule sails past the Moon

NASA's Orion capsule sails past the Moon
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The historic Artemis I mission, which sent an unmanned spacecraft on an unprecedented journey around the Moon, is now in the final stages of its historic journey.

Orion, as NASA’s new space capsule is called, made another pass over the moon’s surface on Monday morning, capturing views of prominent lunar sites, including several. apollo landing sitesπŸ‡§πŸ‡· The spacecraft then passed just 80 miles (128.7 kilometers) above the Moon’s surface. second close flight ceremony.

Orion then fired its main engine for about three and a half minutesβ€”the longest burn of its journey so far. An engine burnout put the capsule on its final journey home, entering the last leg of its 25-and-a-half-day journey.

The Artemis I mission lifted off on November 16 during a NASA flight besieged and long overdue The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket lifted the Orion capsule into space, cementing its status as the most powerful operational launch vehicle ever created. The thrust of the SLS rocket surpassed the thrust of the Saturn V rocket that landed on the moon in the 20th century. 15%πŸ‡§πŸ‡·

After reaching space, Orion separated from the rocket and has been traveling around the Moon ever since. About a week ago, the capsule entered what’s called a “far retrograde orbit” around the moon, allowing it to swing more than 40,000 miles (64,374 kilometers) from the moon’s far side. that’s it farther than any spaceship a human-carrying plane has ever flown.

The spacecraft is now ready to cross the 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers) gap between the Moon and Earth. It is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere on December 11, creating enough pressure to heat its exterior to more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius).

If the astronauts were on board, they would protect them heat protectorπŸ‡§πŸ‡·

NASA's Orion capsule captures this view

After re-entry, Orion will travel at 20,000 miles per hour (32,187 kilometers per hour), or 26 times the speed of sound. All of that energy will be dissipated as the capsule falls back into Earth’s dense inner atmosphere and then releases its parachutes to further slow its descent before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.

All told, the Orion capsule will have traveled much further 1.3 million miles in spaceπŸ‡§πŸ‡·

NASA has been preparing for this mission for more than a decade. Upon successful completion, the space agency will select a crew to fly the Artemis II mission, which could lift off in 2024. but does not fall on its surface.

This, in turn, could pave the way for the Artemis III mission it is currently scheduled for release in 2025 β€” and is expected to put a woman and a person of color on the moon for the first time. It will also mark the first human visit to the lunar surface in half a century.

Orion program manager Howard Hu told reporters that the Orion spacecraft’s performance was “spectacular.” last weekπŸ‡§πŸ‡·

The space agency had to deal with some minor problems, including an unexpected one communication was interrupted for about an hourπŸ‡§πŸ‡· However, NASA officials said there were no serious problems and so far hailed the mission as a great success.

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