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NASA: The Orion capsule has landed in the Pacific Ocean after orbiting the Moon

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NASA’s Orion capsule plunged into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday after lifting off from Earth and orbiting the moon, marking the completion of the Artemis I mission that aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in 50 years.

Highlights

  • The Orion capsule, launched last month by the most powerful rocket ever to leave Earth, parachuted into the Pacific Ocean off the Baja California peninsula on Sunday, where it was to be picked up by the US Navy ship USS Portland.
  • NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston said the spacecraft recovered “stable and in good condition,” with all five parachutes inflated, during a live broadcast of the lander after the 2.2 million-kilometer mission.
  • The unmanned mission spent 25 days in space, reaching a distance of approximately 431,000 km from Earth and 64,000 km from the Moon, breaking the record for the farthest distance traveled by a spacecraft equipped to carry humans, which was established by the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

the shadow

NASA on Sunday tested a new method for a softer, safer landing by sending the spacecraft through the surface of the atmosphere a second time after its initial plunge before plunging into the water, in what NASA calls a “skip entry.” NASA said this slow entry is intended to “allow astronauts to experience lower g-forces when entering Earth after a lunar mission,” and provide a “safer, smoother flight” while reducing the heat around the instrument.

main context

NASA’s Orion launched atop its new Space Launch System from the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on November 16 after months of delays due to Hurricane Nicole and technical difficulties. Sunday’s launch of Orion marks the completion of the first phase of NASA’s mission to explore the south pole of the lunar surface and its untapped resources, including water and ice. Ultimately, NASA hopes that the lessons learned from the Artemis missions will allow it to fly astronauts to Mars as soon as possible by 2033, a goal set by the government of former US President Barack Obama.

A large number

39,590 kilometers per hour. This is the speed recorded by Orion as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday.

to monitor

Artemis II is expected to carry four crew members into space in 2024 and send two astronauts, one male and one female, to the unknown south pole of the moon as early as 2025. The last time humans landed on the moon was in 1972 with the Apollo 17 mission.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Sarah Dorn

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