The return of the Orion capsule

A year ago the re-entry of the Orion unmanned aircraft, from the Artemis I lunar mission, to Earth occurred. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) decided to share unpublished images of the moment. Therefore, we can now see the details of the return of the Orion capsule.

It was on November 16, 2022 when the capsule took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It would then travel more than 2 million kilometers around the Moon. After that, the Orion capsule was scheduled to return to Earth.

The return of the Orion capsule was revealed in impressive images shown by NASA.
The return of the Orion capsule was revealed in impressive images shown by NASA.

Long trip

According to NASA, it was the longest space trip without the need to connect the aircraft to a space station. Almost 10 days after takeoff, the capsule reached the orbit of the natural satellite of planet Earth. He stayed there for about a week before beginning his return journey.

During its flight, Orion flew over the Moon twice. He made a trip to a distance of 270,000 miles from Earth. That is, 1,000 times more than the distance at which the International Space Station is located from Earth’s orbit.

At the time of its return, as it crossed the atmosphere, the aircraft reached temperatures similar to the surface of the Sun. They were close to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Its parachute systems managed to slow its speed to 40,000 kilometers per hour—32 times the speed of sound. It dropped to just 30 when it fell into the sea.

«On December 11, 2022, NASA’s Orion spacecraft re-enters the atmosphere. “It was after completing a 2.25 million kilometer, 25.5 day Artemis I mission to the Moon.” That’s what the space agency pointed out when sharing the new video.

Projecting Mars

In 2024, NASA is expected to send the Artemis II mission. And, a year later, the Artemis III, with the first human crew to touch lunar soil since 1972. With this latest mission, the United States hopes to send the first woman and the first black person to the Moon. NASA has said that exploration of the star is one of the objectives. But the main one is to use these expeditions as a platform to travel to Mars.

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