NASA’s Orion spacecraft breaks record to prove humans can reach deep space
To infinity and beyond.
NASA’s Artemis I mission has set an out-of-this-world record for space travel, as its Orion capsule traveled “farther than any other spacecraft built for humans.”
The unmanned spacecraft it came within 268,563 miles of Earth on Monday, the 13th day of the 25.5-day mission that is part of NASA’s lunar exploration program. By making history, Orion broke an amazing photo from Earth and the moon while cruising at a speed of 1,679 mph.
“Due to the incredible spirit of can-do, Artemis I has been extraordinarily successful and has completed a series of historic events,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. in a sentence. “It’s amazing how well this mission has gone, but this is a test. That’s what we do: we test it and we stress it.”
The latest benchmark for the farthest distance traveled by a spacecraft intended for humans was established by apollo 13 in 1970, when the manned spacecraft rocketed 248,655 miles toward our galaxy.
Now, 50 years since At the end of the Apollo mission, the Artemis I team is challenging Orion for future missions that will theoretically include a crew. As they approach halfway, flight controllers have completed at least 37% of the mission objectives.
“The images were insane,” Rick LaBrode, principal flight director for the Artemis I mission, said in a statement. live press conference Monday. “It’s really hard to articulate what the feeling is. It’s really amazing to be here and see that.”
But breaking a record doesn’t mean the mission is over. Orion has yet to complete multiple objectives, including completing orbit around the moon, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, and surviving the landing. It is scheduled to land in the Pacific Ocean on December 11 after nearly 26 days in space.
Just getting Orion off the ground ran into some hiccups. Natural disasters, like hurricanes nicole Y iandelayed the launch of the Artemis I mission, as well as unexpected fuel leaks.
However, after years of setbacks, the rocket launched on November 16 from the Kennedy Space Center.
Once the capsule managed to begin its journey through space, the mission experienced a problem with Orion’s star tracker, a map of the solar system that communicates its orientation to engineers on the ground, and the data was not coming in as expected.
“We worked through that, and there was great leadership from the Orion team,” said Michael, the mission manager. sarafin too said during the press conference on Monday.
Now that Orion is back to normal and performing better than expected, the mission team is considering adding seven more targets to challenge the spacecraft before flying a crewed mission.
Artemis I it is the first in a series of “increasingly complex missions” aimed at “building a long-term human presence on the moon” over decades. Their goal is to challenge Orion’s systems and ensure a safe voyage before the first flight crew on Artemis II.