Orion passed 81 miles from the surface at 6:57 a.m. Tuesday. After the engines ignited, the spacecraft’s speed increased from 2,128 kmph to 5,102 kmph. It then flew to the Apollo 11 landing site at Tranquility Base, 1,400 miles away, then to the Apollo 14 site at an altitude of 6,000 miles and then to the Apollo 12 site at an altitude of 7,700 miles.
“The mission will continue as planned…the geostationary system, our operations teams, the Orion spacecraft are performing beyond expectations…we will continue to learn about this new spacecraft,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager. After liftoff, traveling at 5,102 mph, it lost contact with Earth for 34 minutes, as the process took place on the other side of the moon, scientists said.
On November 25, Orion will enter a deep retrograde orbit beyond the Moon, known as a deep retrograde orbit insertion burn. The orbit is high above the surface of the Moon. This orbit provides the most stable orbit. Longer journeys in deep space to test the Orion systems in hostile environments there require less fuel.
Orion will pass 57,287 miles from the Moon on November 25. It will then reach a maximum distance of 268,552 miles from Earth on Monday, November 28, surpassing the record set by Apollo 13 on November 26. NASA sources said that Artemis-1 was more successful than expected. The Orion capsule sent the pictures taken from there. In which the Earth appears as a small blue dot.
NASA Director Zebulon Scoville said, “This is one of the days we have been waiting for and dreaming about for a long time. This morning we saw the Earth behind the Moon while carrying the vehicle that is being prepared for the soon-to-be manned mission.” NASA also recently shared selfies sent by Orion. After almost 50 years, the first space capsule went to the moon.
NASA’s Artemis-1 launch, which was postponed for two months due to various reasons, was successfully conducted last Wednesday. After two hurricanes and technical glitches, the most powerful rocket in history was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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