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Artemis 1 Orion Spacecraft Flies By The Moon With a Crucial Engine Burn

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Artemis 1 Orion Spacecraft Flies By The Moon With a Crucial Engine Burn

(CTN News) – The NASA Artemis 1 mission fired its engines very close to the moon today (Nov. 21), successfully completing the maneuver without touching down on Earth.

After launching on NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Artemis I’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft has been moving toward the moon ever since it launched on Wednesday morning (Nov. 16).

During the burn, NASA’s Sandra Jones explained how the burn was able to get Orion close enough to the lunar surface to leverage the moon’s gravitational pull, which allowed the spacecraft to swing around once and enter a retrograde orbit toward its entry into orbit on Monday (Nov. 21) at 8:28 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, almost an hour after the burn was conducted.

During Orion’s burn Monday, NASA was literally in the dark, meaning that the radio signal could not penetrate through the far side of the moon from our planet. This is because Orion is on the far side of the moon from our planet.

During the closest approach by the spacecraft to the moon, it was just 80 miles (130 kilometers) or so above the surface of the moon at 7:44 a.m. ET (1244 GMT) at the time of the closest approach.

A ‘powered flyby burn’ was performed by the capsule during the close approach to its main engine. This will set it on a course to enter lunar orbit four days after it was shot off.

NASA’s Artemis program of lunar exploration has been launched with the launch of Artemis 1. Artemis aims to establish a crewed research base on the moon by the end of the 2020s, among other objectives.

The Artemis 1 launch also marked the debut of the SLS rocket, which is one of the most powerful rockets that has been launched to date.

As a result of Monday’s successful burn, Orion will be prepared to make another crucial maneuver on Nov. 25: a launch of an engine designed to place Orion in a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) around the moon.

A second engine burn, scheduled for Dec. 1, will send the capsule back to Earth at 40,000 miles (64,000 km) from the lunar surface, where it will remain in the DRO – a path that will carry the capsule as far as 40,000 miles (64,000 km) from the surface.

The current orbit of the spacecraft is very different from the one done during the Apollo program, during which the spacecraft and its crew orbited the moon much closer to the surface in a more circular manner,” Jones explained during the broadcast.

There are a number of reasons why distant retrograde orbit is significant, including the fact that it helps us to understand how a spacecraft functions down in deep space.

It is expected that Orion will come home on Dec. 11 and will hit Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. It will then splash down softly in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California at a speed of about 2000 mph.

Artemis 1 is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018.

This will enable NASA to move forward with Artemis 2 in 2024 or a bit later. This will send astronauts around the moon for the first time.

As part of the agency’s plans to launch Artemis 3 in 2025, it will deploy a lunar research base near the lunar south pole. Serve as the location of the agency’s planned research base.

The launch of Artemis 3 will be the first crewed mission to land on the moon since the final Apollo mission in 19721972. It also be the first time a woman and a person of color have been on the moon at the same time.

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