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Artemis 1 Orion Capsule Launched From Kennedy Space Center Buzzes The Moon

NASA's Artemis 1 mission launched from the east coast of Central Florida at Kennedy Space Center, has arrived at the moon today, November 21.

Artemis 1's Orion capsule has been cruising toward the moon since Wednesday morning, November 16, when it launched atop NASA's gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from Florida.

Orion finally reached the moon on Monday morning, skimming just 80 miles or so above the lunar surface at 7:57 a.m. EST.

During the close approach, the capsule fired its main engine in a powered flyby burn.

It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, theOrion capsule's cameras sent back a picture of the world — a tiny blue orb surrounded by blackness.

“Our pale blue dot and its 8 billion human inhabitants now coming into view,” said Mission Control commentator Sandra Jones.

Orion will now travel about 40,000 miles beyond the moon's far side, farther than any human-rated spacecraft, orbiting the moon for about six days before beginning the trip back to Earth.

While no astronauts are onboard, the nearly month-long journey around the moon is a critical demonstration for NASA's lunar program.

The mission represents a crucial moment in NASA's moon plans, with the Artemis program representing a series of missions with escalating goals.

The third – tentatively scheduled for 2025 – is expected to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo era.

Artemis 1 Orion Capsule Launched From Kennedy Space Center Flies By The Moon


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