to infinity and beyond.
NASA’s Artemis I mission set a world record for space travel as its Orion capsule traveled “further than any other human-built spacecraft.”
Unmanned spacecraft It reached 268,563 miles from Earth on Monday, the 13th day of a 25.5-day journey as part of NASA’s lunar exploration program. After making history, Orion exploded A stunning photo The Earth and Moon sped by at 1,679 mph.
“Because of its incredible power, Artemis I has achieved extraordinary success and accomplished a series of history-making events,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. In a statement. “It’s incredible how smoothly this mission has gone, but it’s a test. That’s what we do — we test it and push it.
The final benchmark was set for the distance a human spacecraft could travel Apollo 13 In 1970, a manned spacecraft launched 248,655 miles into our galaxy.
now, Since 50 years At the end of the Apollo mission, the Artemis I crew challenged Orion for future missions that would, in theory, include a crew. As they approach the halfway point, air traffic controllers have completed at least 37% of the mission’s objectives.
“The pictures were crazy,” said Rick LaProde, lead flight director for the Artemis I mission. Live press conference Monday. “It’s really hard to express what the feeling is. It’s really amazing to come here and see it.
But breaking a record doesn’t mean the job is over. Orion still has several missions to complete, including completing an orbit around the Moon, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and surviving a landing. After nearly 26 days of space travel, it is scheduled to touch down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.
After years of delays, the rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center on November 16.
After the capsule was able to begin its journey into space, the mission ran into a problem with the Orion star tracker, a map of the solar system that tells engineers on the ground its orientation, and the data didn’t arrive as expected.
“We worked through it and had some great leadership from the Orion team,” said mission manager Michael Sarafin too He said during a press conference on Monday.
Now that Orion is back on track and performing better than expected, the mission team is considering adding seven more objectives to challenge the spacecraft before a manned mission.
Artemis I It is the first in a series of “increasingly complex missions” aimed at “creating a long-term human presence on the moon” over several decades. The goal is to challenge the Orion systems and ensure a safe journey before the first flight crew on Artemis II.
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