NASA Lunar Mission Orion Capsule back on Earth
NASA has high hopes for the Artemis 1 moon mission. Now, after four weeks in space, the Orion space capsule has returned to Earth. Important data was collected in the process.
After about four weeks in space, the unmanned Orion capsule of NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission returned to Earth. The capsule landed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico on Sunday night, according to live footage from the US space agency NASA. With the help of experts, divers and boats, the “Orion” will now be brought into port in San Diego. The test mission is an important step in returning humans to the moon.
Even before landing, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called the Artemis test mission an “extraordinary success”. Through the “Artemis” program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, American astronauts are expected to land on the moon again in the coming years, including for the first time a woman and a person of color.
The first manned flight (“Artemis 2”) around the Moon will be followed by another manned flight, including a landing on the lunar surface (“Artemis 3”). NASA put the last human on the Moon in 1972 on the Apollo 17 mission. Overall, the United States was the only country to date that twelve astronauts landed on the Moon with the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972.
After high costs and repeated delays, Artemis 1 was launched on November 16 by a Space Launch System rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. So, for about four weeks, all the planned milestones were set: flyby the moon, entering lunar orbit, leaving orbit, flyby again close to the moon – and now: the landing. The European Space Agency (ESA) and space agencies from several other countries are participating in Artemis.