Orion should pass it at 7:42 a.m. ET on Saturday. The spacecraft is expected to reach a distance of more than 270,000 miles from Earth at 4:13 p.m. ET on Monday, NASA said.
The distant orbit, which requires little maintenance fuel, will allow Orion to test its systems to see how the vehicle performs. However, the orbit is so wide that the spacecraft will complete only half of the orbit in six days before it begins to return to Earth.
Flight without any astronauts on board is the first step NASA’s Artemis programIt is attempting to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Orion was made using cameras mounted on the outside of the spacecraft reflects dramatic images and live video of his journey. including spectacular images of Earth seen from afar, more than 200,000 miles away, suspended in the vast, complex darkness of space.
If the current mission, known as Artemis I, goes well, NASA is planning a second flight with astronauts, this time in 2024. This mission, known as Artemis II, will also orbit the Moon with humans. come later.
“The mission is proceeding as planned and the ground systems, our operations teams and the Orion spacecraft continue to exceed expectations,” NASA’s Artemis I mission manager Mike Sarafin said this week. “And we continue to learn about this new deep spacecraft along the way.”
He said that Space Launch System rocket, even more powerful than the Apollo-era Saturn V, performed so well that the results were “eye-watering.” However, his massive loss caused some damage to his mobile launch tower, including blowing the doors off the tower’s elevator. But overall, “the structure itself held up well,” Sarafin said.
After Orion completes half an orbit around the Moon, it will launch itself as if it were lost around the moon, heading home.
One key test will take place when the spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, traveling at about 25,000 mph. Friction with the condensed air will create temperatures as high as 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The spacecraft is expected to splash into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego in December. 11.
Although there are no real-life astronauts on board the Artemis I mission, there is a mannequin named Moonikin Campos in the Orion spacecraft’s command chair. It is equipped with a suit and sensors to provide feedback on how future astronauts will travel.
The seat has two sensors to record acceleration and vibration. The space suit has sensors to record radiation levels.
The name “Moonik” was chosen through a public competition. Campos was chosen in his honor Arturo Camposa former NASA engineer who played a key role in its recovery After the mission, the Apollo 13 spacecraft failed🇧🇷
It also drives two mannequin bodies. Called Zohar and Helga, they are made from materials that NASA says “mimicking human bones, soft tissues and the organs of an adult woman.” (Women are believed to be more sensitive than men to radiation exposure.)
They also have sensors to measure radiation. Zohar has a radiation vest, Helga doesn’t.