NASA spacecraft returns from the moon: where to watch the completion of the Artemis 1 mission

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NASA spacecraft returns from the Moon: where to watch the completion of the Artemis 1 mission

NASA has revealed what time the Orion spacecraft will land on December 11, 2022.

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NASA's Artemis 1 lunar mission will end on Sunday evening, December 11, 2022. At 19.40 Kyiv time in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, the United States, the unmanned Orion spacecraft will splash down and thus complete its 26-day flight to the moon and back, writes Space.

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If all goes as planned, the Orion spacecraft, which made its first flight to the moon as part of the Artemis 1 mission, should land off the coast of California at 19.40 Kyiv time on Sunday, December 11.

Its historic flight began 26 days ago, when the world's most powerful Space Launch System launched Orion into space. This was the first flight for this spacecraft as part of NASA's Artemis lunar program. The next stage of this program will be the flight on the same ship of astronauts around the moon, which is scheduled for 2024, and already in 2025 NASA astronauts will have to land on the moon for the first time in 50 years.

NASA spacecraft returns from the Moon: where to watch the completion of the Artemis 1 mission

NASA spacecraft returns from the Moon: where to watch the completion of the Artemis 1 mission

During reentry, a spacecraft will face its biggest challenge: it will have to “survive” the enormous temperatures during reentry and deploy its parachutes for a safe splashdown.

At about 19.00 Kyiv time, the crew capsule will have to separate from the service module of the spacecraft, which houses the solar panels, engine and fuel tanks. NASA said that after separation, this module will be ejected in such a way that it will not pose a danger to either the capsule or people on the ground.

Already at 19.20, the capsule for the crew will begin entering the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 40 thousand km/h, which is about 32 times the speed of sound. At the same time, it will have to withstand a temperature of 2800 degrees Celsius, which is about 2 times less than the temperature of the surface of the Sun.

At 19.35 Orion will be at an altitude of about 12 thousand meters above the Earth's surface and within the next 4 minutes the spacecraft will deploy its parachutes to slow the descent. NASA expects that the ship will splash down at about 19.40 Kyiv time at a speed of 32 km/h.

A NASA statement says that after splashdown, the spacecraft will be in the water for approximately 2 hours. At this time, experts will check its technical condition, and after that it will be loaded on board the rescue ship.

The descent of the Orion spacecraft to Earth can be followed on the NASA YouTube channel. The broadcast itself will begin at 18.00 Kyiv time.

Focus already wrote that on November 16, 2022, the Orion spacecraft set off on its 26-day journey around the moon.

After that, as Focus already wrote, NASA unveiled the first images from space taken by the Orion spacecraft, as well as what the Earth looks like from a distance.

During the flight around the Moon, the spacecraft managed to set two flight distance records at once for such devices, as Focus already wrote.