The Orion capsule of the Artemis mission has successfully completed its flyby of the Moon. She took the opportunity to take an incredible image of the Earth in the background with the Moon in close-up. Orion will remain in orbit of the Moon for a few more days.
The Artemis program is only on its first mission, but is already beginning to show us spectacular images. After a successful liftoff atop the SLS rocket, the Orion capsule shared its first image of Earth with us as it headed for the Moon. It had been decades since the Apollo mission since we had seen Earth captured from a human spacecraft from this far away. Orion therefore took the opportunity to take an even more incredible second image.
The photo you see above was captured by the Orion capsule after its flyby of the Moon 130 kilometers from its surface. As expected, the capsule that will one day carry astronauts successfully completed its lunar flyby earlier this week. It was therefore the perfect opportunity to photograph the Earth with the Moon in the foreground.
The Orion capsule will soon break the Apollo 13 record in terms of distance from Earth
At the time of the photo, Orion was about 430,000 kilometers from Earth. This is why our planet appears as a tiny blue disk in the photo. Moreover, NASA announced that: Artemis I will soon surpass Apollo 13’s record distance from Earth in a spacecraft designed to carry astronauts “.
Even if this first flight takes place empty, well almost empty if we count the false commander Moonikin Campos seated in the capsule, we must not forget that Orion’s objective is to transport astronauts. The Artemis program aims to to make Man walk on the Moon again and in particular the first woman. In fact, NASA wants a second lander in addition to SpaceX’s Starship.
As for Orion, the capsule will remain in orbit of the Moon for a few more days. Its flyby of the Moon was one of the two maneuvers necessary to place itself on a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. It will enter this orbit on November 25 by propelling itself with its European service module. Next, the Orion capsule will break the record for furthest astronaut-carrying spacecraft from Earth on November 28. It will then find itself at an extraordinary distance from more than 432,108 kilometers from Earth.
Source : Digital Trends