- Rebecca Morel
- Science correspondent, BBC News
NASA’s Artemis space mission has approached the moon and sent us the first satellite image.
The Orion capsule passed about 130 kilometers from the lunar surface and will now enter a wider orbit.
Since this operation took place on the dark side of the moon, communication with the rover was lost for 34 minutes during the maneuver, which officially began at 12:44 GMT.
NASA says the mission has “exceeded expectations” so far since its launch last week.
the program Artemis Wednesday kicked off with the launch of the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, leaving the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The spacecraft propelled the Orion capsule on its way to the moon. On his way he sent several Personal Photos to ground.
to come back
Since this is a test flight, it is not inhabited by astronauts, but by three dummies covered with thousands of sensors.
“The sensors have an idea of whether the environment is acceptable to humans,” explained NASA astronaut Zena Cardman.
“So there are things like radiation sensors, motion sensors, accelerometers, things that we passengers care about a lot.”
And that matters because if this flight goes well, there will be astronauts on the next one, but first an orbit around the moon and then a third mission that will bring the first woman and first person of color to the surface of a satellite.
“This is one of those days that you look forward to for a very long time,” said NASA Flight Director Zebulon Scoville.
“This morning we watched the Earth disappear behind our natural satellite from the first spacecraft capable of carrying humans around the Moon, preparing to carry humans in a few years. That changes everything.”
The European Space Agency is also watching the spacecraft carefully. He built the service module that provides power and propulsion for the Orion capsule.
The entity also has a passenger on board: Shaun the Sheep, the British stop-motion animated character. Sean committed to the ride. NASA’s mascot is Snoopy, who floats freely in the cabin of the crew capsule.
After that close flyby you just made, Orion will start moving away from the Moon.
On November 26, it is expected to break the Apollo 13 distance record when it reaches 400,171 km from Earth.
In two days, you will have traveled more than 430,000 km from our planet, the farthest a spacecraft designed to transport humans has traveled.
After that, the capsule will begin its journey back home. It will first have a short return to the Moon and then to Earth. It is scheduled to fall into the waters of the Pacific Ocean on December 11.
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