Expedition Artemis 1 is slowly coming to an end. The Orion ship has already left the lunar orbit and is approaching the Earth. So we’re looking at the last images of our planet taken during this mission from such a great distance.
The Earth in the pictures looks like a little croissant in the abyss of space
Pictures you posted now NASACreated in the last few days. On December 5 (Mission Day 20), the Orion spacecraft fired the service module’s main engine for the last time, left lunar orbit, and headed for Earth. On that day, Orion came within 130 km of the Silver Globe’s surface and took some very detailed photos, which you can see below:
But it is much more interesting to photograph the Earth from such a great distance. The images of our planet were taken two days later, last Wednesday (mission day 22), when Orion was just over 376,586 kilometers from our planet. The Earth seems to them like a small croissant immersed in the abyss of space.
Earth as seen from a long distance from the Orion spacecraft on December 7, 2022 Photo NASA Johnson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
Pictures were taken just the day before rod The Moon, and therefore our natural satellite (and the spacecraft returning from its orbit) were on the other side of Earth than the Sun. So our star illuminated only a very small part of the planet from Orion’s perspective.
On the same day, the Orion ship was already about 200 thousand. kilometers from the lunar surface. The Silver Globe also appears quite small in a photo taken at this time:
The distant moon in images from the Artemis 1 mission Photo NASA Johnson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
Finally, it’s worth seeing the video, which was recorded in the last days of November (the 13th day of the mission), but only now released by NASA. This is a time-lapse video (compiled from many images taken at certain time intervals) showing Earth’s passage behind the face of the Moon:
Orion returns to Earth. It will soon land in the waters of the Pacific Ocean
The Orion spacecraft has been traveling toward Earth for four days, and its journey will continue until December 11th. Then the most important phase of NASA’s mission will begin, i.e. re-entry into the atmosphere. Orion will fly into the atmosphere with a huge Speed, after which it will begin to lose it as a result of air resistance. You will land in the waters of the Pacific Ocean near the city of San Diego, California. It will be caught from the ocean by the US Navy ship USS Portland.
If all goes according to plan, NASA plans to send humans into lunar orbit as part of the Artemis 2 mission in the first half of 2024. The first manned landing on the Silver Globe in more than 50 years is planned for 2025.
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