In November 16, 14:47, NASA Space Launch System (SLS) with Orion spacecraft launched liftoff. The mission, called Artemis 1, is an unmanned lunar orbit test mission in preparation for the subsequent manned lunar orbit on Artemis 2 and manned lunar landing on Artemis 3.
NASA has now provided updated information on Artemis 1. “Orion has been performing well so far,” Jim Geffre, spacecraft integration manager, said at a NASA news conference Friday, “and all systems have exceeded expectations from a performance standpoint.”
The Orion spacecraft will reach the moon on Nov. 21, and it will be “closest” to the moon at about 20:15 GMT on the 21st, according to the report. At that time, the spacecraft will perform the first of four main engine burns planned by NASA for the mission, and then Orion will orbit slightly above 130 kilometers above the lunar surface.
A second engine burn will also be performed four days later, sending Orion into a distant lunar orbit before eventually placing the spacecraft in an Earth return orbit, flight director Jeff Radigan said. If all goes according to plan, Orion will fall into the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 11.
The flight marks Orion’s first breakout from Earth orbit, and the spacecraft completed a two-orbit test flight around Earth in 2014. A successful flight will pave the way for a manned mission to the moon and eventually help NASA’s goal of returning to the moon, achieving the first manned moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972.
According to publicly available information, twelve people have landed on the moon in history. The Apollo module landed two people on the moon on each of the six NASA missions over a 41-month period beginning July 20, 1969. The first lunar landings were made by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11. Cernan and Jack Schmidt on Apollo 17 on December 14, 1972 were the last men to land on the Moon to date. (Apollo 13 had an accident so returned to Earth early)
Meanwhile, NASA also released a “selfie” of the Orion manned spacecraft on its way to the moon, looking like a flat boat, sailing alone in the dark universe. It is reported that the Orion manned spacecraft installed 16 cameras, designed to carry out a comprehensive examination of the spacecraft, used to record the important events of the mission, including the Earth-Moon images.