Artemis 1 mission to the moon. The first photos from the Orion spacecraft appeared (photo)
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This spacecraft is heading for the moon and has no crew on board, but this flight is the first step towards returning a person to the Earth's satellite.
On November 16, 2022, the long-awaited launch of the huge Space Launch System launch vehicle took place, the launch of which has already been postponed several times. As already written by Focus, NASA only on the third attempt managed to send this most powerful rocket into space today. Its main task was to put the Orion spacecraft into orbit as part of the Artemis 1 mission. The launch itself was successful and the ship is already heading for the moon. With the help of his cameras, he took a “space selfie”, writes Space.
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The spacecraft is already on its way to the Moon and has sent back several photos of its historic journey. So far, he has flown without a crew, but in 2024 he will fly around the Moon for the second time (and the purpose of the first flight is precisely this) already with astronauts on board. And a year later, it will deliver the first space travelers since 1972 to the Earth's satellite.
The inhabitants of the spacecraft are two mannequins who are wearing special suits similar to those that astronauts will use during a future flight to the moon. 8 minutes after the launch of the launch vehicle, the upper stage of the rocket continued to fly along with the Orion spacecraft into low Earth orbit. And after 10 minutes, the ship deployed its 4 solar panels, each 7 m long.
The cameras are mounted on these panels, and it was with their help that Orion sent the first pictures from space. These solar panels can change location, so that the spacecraft will receive solar energy all the time. Parts of a spaceship are visible in the images, and the Earth can even be seen in the background.
It is worth noting that the ship took all the pictures at the time when the upper stage of the rocket took it further into space. Orion set off on its solo flight 55 minutes after the launch of the launch vehicle on Earth. The European Space Agency, which was involved in the creation of the Orion spacecraft, also shared a short video showing the rocket's second stage separating from the spacecraft.
Orion's trip to the moon will take approximately 6 days. It is expected that already on November 21 it will fly up to the Moon at a distance of 97 km, and after that it will enter a more distant circumlunar orbit. It is important to note that for the first time in history, a spacecraft designed for human flight will be located very far from the Earth. During the flight, it will break the distance record from the planet of 400,170 km, which was set by the Apollo 13 spacecraft in 1970. But then the crew had to take the ship so far from the Earth due to an explosion on board and thanks to emergency actions they were able to return home.
The flight of the Orion spacecraft will end on December 11, 2022, when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean. NASA has high hopes that this mission will be successful. After all, this is the first step towards returning a man to the moon for the first time in 50 years.
Until 2025 or even until 2026, most likely astronauts will not land on the surface of our satellite, but when this happens they will continue the work of those 12 Americans who visited there from 1969 to 1972. By the way, Focus already wrote about them.