While en-route to Earth, the Orion spacecraft took a series of close-up photographs of the lunar surface, revealing stunning details.
NASA’s Artemis I Orion Spacecraft is making its way back to Earth after successfully orbiting the Moon for several days. The spacecraft is on its 23-day mission and is days from splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The mission has so far been a tremendous success, literally paving the way for future manned missions to the Moon. Orion recently performed its trajectory correction burn, ensuring the spacecraft is on the right path for Earth. Yesterday, Jim Free, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development, wrote, “At tomorrow’s mission management team meeting, we’ll select @NASA_Orion‘s final landing site off the coast of California. We’re evaluating the weather in various locations to finalize the site. Tune into a briefing on nasa.gov/live tomorrow, Dec 8, at 5 PM ET to hear details.”
Orion, where are you?
As per Orion’s Twitter account, the spacecraft is 222,037 mi from Earth, and 156,859 mi from the Moon, cruising at 1,110 mph as of December 8, 2022. You can follow the spacecraft as it heads back home by clicking here and accessing NASA’s Artemis I Mission tracking in Real Time.
The future with Artemis
A long-term lunar presence will be established through NASA’s Artemis missions, which will pave the way for astronauts to travel to Mars in the future. Things have gone the best way possible so far, and we expect the Orion spacecraft will successfully spash down on December 11, 2022. Following Artemis I, NASA expects to launch the Artemis II mission, which will take astronauts around the Moon and back on Earth. The key mission is Artemis III, which will take astronauts back to the lunar surface in a historic mission that will mark the future of solar system exploration.
In the meantime, here are a series of stunning, close-up photographs of the Moon, the Orion spacecraft took en-route to Earth.