A screenshot of the Orion spacecraft, the Moon, and Earth. NASA.

Video of Artemis I Orion Spacecraft Shows Earth and the Moon

This video shows the Orion Spacecraft moving around the Moon, with Earth and parts of the Moon clearly visible. The video ends with Orion losing temporary communications with NASA as it moves toward the far side of the Moon.


The Artemis I mission continues making history as it kick-starts a new era of lunar exploration. On its way to the Moon, the Orion spacecraft has been documenting its journey with a series of selfies and even videos as it travels into lunar orbit. As it made its way around the Moon, the spacecraft lost contact with mission control briefly. This is something that was expected. Not long after, the spacecraft required a signal with NASA’s Deep Space Network at 7:59 a.m. EST on November 21. The establishment of comms took place after the spacecraft performed the departure flyby burn-up at 7:44 a.m. Orion engaged its orbital maneuvering system for two minutes and thirty seconds, accelerating Orion an additional 930 kilometers per hour.

At this moment, the unmanned spacecraft was at a distance of 527 kilometers above the Moon, traveling at a total speed of 8,000 kilometers per hour. The acceleration pushed the spacrarft to a distance of 130 kilometers from the Moon, with a speed of around 8,200 kilometers per hour. At this time, the spacecraft was 370,000 kilometers from our planet.


Retrograde orbit

According to NASA, the powered-out flyby burn is one of two required maneuvers that will place Orion into a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft will perform its insertion burn to place it in the retrograde orbit on Friday, November 25, using the European Service Module. At this distant point around the Moon, Orion will perform various tests and tasks. It will remain in retrograde orbit around the Moon for seven days. Additionally, this distant retrograde orbit will place the Orion spacecraft 64,300 km past the Moon. The largest distance between Orion and Earth is expected to occur on November 28, when it flies at a staggering 432,000 km away. The greatest distance between Orion and the Moon will is expected to take place on November 25. The spacecraft is expected to be some 92,000 km from the Moon.

NASA can communicate with missions such as Artemis I thanks to the so-called Deep Space Network. It handles several important aspects such as trajectory corrections, powered flyby burns, and distant retrograde orbit insertion and departure. The Near Space Network is there to provide complementary navigation data.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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