NASA spacecraft breaks Earth distance record set over 50 years ago

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NASA spacecraft broke distance record from Land established over 50 years ago

The Orion spacecraft has been farther in space than any human spacecraft has ever been.

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Now NASA has a new record holder for the farthest distance from Earth, and that's the Orion spacecraft, which is currently orbiting orbit around the moon. The craft broke the previous record for distance from Earth, set by the Apollo 13 spacecraft in 1970, writes Space.

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The Orion spacecraft, which was launched to the Moon as part of the Artemis 1 mission, flew farther from the Earth in space on November 26, 2022 than any Earth-based vehicle designed for astronaut flights. The Orion, which is uncrewed except for three dummies, broke the Earth distance record set by the Odyssey command module with three Apollo 13 astronauts on board as early as April 1970. If Odysseus was at a distance of 400,171 km from Earth, then Orion was at a distance of 401,798 km.

NASA spacecraft breaks Earth distance record set over 50 years ago

NASA spacecraft breaks Earth distance record set over 50 years ago

The original flight plan for the Apollo 13 mission, during which NASA astronauts were supposed to land on the moon, did not anticipate that the spacecraft would fly so far from Earth. The fact is that an accident occurred on board and instead of landing on the moon, astronauts and scientists on Earth had to deal with the issue of an emergency return of the crew home. The spacecraft Odyssey simply had to fly around the moon at a very long distance in order to be able to safely and quickly return to Earth.

According to NASA, the Artemis 1 mission scientists did not set a goal to break the Apollo 13 mission record for distance from Earth, although initial calculations suggested such a possibility. According to NASA's Jim Geffre, the Orion spacecraft entered a very distant orbit from the Moon and thus broke the distance record from our planet for crewed spacecraft.

NASA spacecraft breaks record distance from the Earth, established more than 50 years ago

NASA spacecraft breaks Earth distance record set over 50 years ago

But this is not the last record that Orion should set. According to scientists, on Monday, November 28, this spacecraft will be even further from Earth. It will enter an even more distant orbit around the Moon and will be located at a distance of about 432,000 km from Earth. It will fly in this orbit for about a week, after which it will fly very close to our satellite and head back to Earth. According to NASA's plan, the ship should return home on Sunday, December 11, 2022.

So far, the record for the Apollo 13 mission, which, in fact, was also set by the crew members of the Odyssey spacecraft James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Hayes, beaten by an unmanned ship. But this may change already in 2024, when NASA will send a new mission to the Moon – Artemis 2. Then astronauts will be on board the spacecraft, and if the same orbit around the Moon is used for the flight as in the current mission, then these astronauts will become the first people to travel the farthest in space.

As Focus already wrote, the Artemis 1 mission, which is the first part of NASA's new lunar program, began on November 16, 2022. The Orion spacecraft has successfully flown to the Moon and, as Focus wrote before, took some amazing photos of the far side of our satellite.