NASA’s Artemis 1 ends its 25-day voyage around the moon with a splashdown off California – live photos revealed
The Artemis 1 spacecraft has completed its 25-day journey around the moon.
Nasa’s Orion capsule used for the mission has landed off Baja, California.
Artemis 1 landed at 12:40 p.m. 30 seconds EST on Sunday.
The mission ended exactly 50 years after the last Apollo moon landing in 1972.
Launched on November 16, the unmanned capsule left Earth and headed for the moon to conduct a series of tests as the spacecraft orbited the moon.
It traveled 268,563 miles farther from Earth than any other human-rated spacecraft.
“We have collected an immense amount of data characterizing system performance from the power system, propulsion, GNC (guidance, navigation and control),” said Jim Geffre, Orion’s vehicle integration manager CBS.
“So far, the flight control team has downloaded over 140 gigabytes of technical and image data,” he said.
According to Geffre, the data is already being analyzed “to not only help understand the performance of Artemis 1, but also to play for all subsequent missions,” he said.
One of the concerns about landing the spacecraft was its 16.5-foot-wide heat shield.
“There is no arcjet or aerothermal facility here on Earth capable of replicating hypersonic re-entry with a heat shield this size,” Mission Manager Mike Safarin told the outlet.
“And it’s a brand new heat shield design, and it’s a safety-critical piece of equipment. It’s designed to protect the spacecraft and (future astronauts)… so the heat shield has to work.”
NASA plans to send four astronauts around the moon in the second flight of the Artemis 2 program.
Artemis 2 is tentatively planned for 2024.
The space agency has even bigger plans for the future.
Nasa hopes the first woman and person of color will land on the moon during their Artemis missions.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/6892158/artemis1-splashdown-nasa-live-time/ NASA’s Artemis 1 ends its 25-day voyage around the moon with a splashdown off California – live photos revealed