The Orion spacecraft has been approaching Earth for several days and beyond Sunday A safe landing of the capsule in the waters of the Pacific Ocean is planned. If this step goes smoothly, NASA You will be able to boast of the complete success of the Artemis 1 mission.
Orion will land on Earth in an unusual way. NASA wants to bounce it off the atmosphere
Landing Orion will be a very complex process and one of the most important phases of the entire mission. NASA intends to test a new landing technique on this occasion – the so-called. Skip entry (which can be translated as entrance jump in the atmosphere). The agency stated that this technology has not yet been used in manned spacecraft (Orion is a manned spacecraft, but in the first attempt it flies without a crew).
On the first re-entry phase, Orion will only point against its upper layers, losing some speed. Then (with the help of thrusters) it will bounce off the atmosphere and gain altitude again. Only at the second and final entry will the ship plunge deeper into the gaseous envelope of our planet. NASA likens this technique to letting ducks float on water.
This technology is supposed to allow NASA to land in the Pacific Ocean near the American coast. In the case of unmanned flights, this accuracy is not of major importance, but Artemis 1 is a test for NASA before the next already manned flights, among others. In 2024 and 2025. In case airline A manned landing in the ocean near the rescue ship and the coast is very important because it reduces the time it takes to reach the astronauts and then travel to Earth.
Three downside scenarios. Skip Entry technology allows you to significantly expand the area in which a capsule can launch:
Skip landing entry NASA Johnson Space Center images
How and where will the Orion ship land?
Orion is continually heading toward Earth (above 300 thousand kilometers from our planet. It will arrive on Sunday 11th December. The first stage, just before entering the atmosphere, will be the rejection of the Orion service module, part of which was, among other things, the main engine for orbital maneuvers. NASA confirms that the module’s flight path was chosen so that it would completely burn up in the atmosphere.
Upon entering the atmosphere, Orion will begin to slow down and head toward its declination point. Air resistance alone would slow the capsule to 523 km/h in 10 minutes. Then three small auxiliary parachutes will open, which will reduce the ship’s speed to 209 km / h. At an altitude of 2.9 km above the ground, the main nylon parachutes with a diameter of 35 meters each will be deployed, which will slow the descent of the spacecraft to 32 km / h.
At that speed, Gemini will hit the water’s surface on Sunday around 10:00. 19:40. It will be launched near the Mexican island of Guadalupe, about 260 km west of the California Peninsula and 420 km from the US city of San Diego. This place was chosen last Thursday because of the favorable weather forecast.
The US Navy ship USS Portland will retrieve the capsule. As for the Gemini that floats on the water, it will be tied to the ship’s crane by divers, and after drying it will be placed on a specially designed platform and taken to dry land. NASA rehearsed this whole process for the last time earlier this week.
If reentry and splashdown goes according to plan, NASA will have a path open for the Artemis 2 mission, which will send the first astronauts into lunar orbit in more than half a century. The Artemis 2 mission is planned for May 2024, and the Artemis 3 mission — which aims to land on the Silver Globe — for 2025.
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