Orion lunar spacecraft returns to Earth

On the night of December 1 to 2, the Orion spacecraft made its last maneuver near the Moon. It’s coming back to Earth. The landing of the unmanned mission is expected on December 11.

Orion made a maneuver near the Moon. Source: www.nasa.gov

Orion is flying home

The Orion spacecraft, making an unmanned flight as part of the Artemis I mission, is flying to Earth. On December 1, at 11:54 p.m. GMT+2, it turned on its engines for the last time near the Moon. The maneuver lasted 1 min. 45 seconds. It put the device on a trajectory that allows it to reach the Earth.

The Artemis I mission started on November 16. Its goal is to test all components of the system in space. Orion successfully deployed its solar panels, and the European service module put it into the orbit of the Moon.

During its flight, the spacecraft managed to become the most remote spacecraft from Earth, created as a manned one. It sent a lot of beautiful images and became a venue for a kind of disco party.

Test flight results

The trajectory Orion is currently on is slightly slower than the one it got to the Moon with. If everything goes well, then it will meet with the Earth on December 11. The spacecraft is waiting for the final, most crucial stage of the flight. It must withstand re-entry into the atmosphere, deploy parachutes and land on water.

NASA specialists are already preparing to meet it. In general, the mission has been successful so far, all the systems have worked properly, and the engineers have made sure that the people on board would be safe. So, already in 2024, the first manned mission is planned to fly around the Moon.

And in a couple of years, the crew of Artemis III will become the first people after the completion of the Apollo program to set foot on the surface of the Moon. This will happen near the south pole of our moon. And this will be just the beginning of its research.

According to www.space.com

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