Artemis 1: Orion Spacecraft Ready for First Flypast Moon
Five days after its launch, the Orion Spacecraft is all set to reach its target destination-The Moon on Nov 21. The aircraft which is determined to ferry humans to the lunar world will buzz the Moon on the sixth day of its 25.5-day-long mission.
It will make its closest approach to the moon at 6:27 pm IST and get as close as 130 km from the lunar surface. The Orion completed its third trajectory correction burn, firing the auxiliary thruster engines for a duration of 6 seconds at a rate of 3.39 feet per second as it adjusted its path while en route the lunar body.
NASA has said that the spacecraft would conduct the outbound powered flyby burn by maneuvering the system engine for 2 and a half minutes to accelerate the spacecraft, harnessing force from the Moons gravity to direct it towards a distant retrograde orbit beyond the lunar body. Subsequently, the Orion will approach the closest target on the Moon and will pass 80 miles above the lunar surface, when a communication loss is expected, for around 34 minutes NASA said.
The first images of the Moon using the optical navigation camera were captured by the spacecraft which was launched after several cancellations on Nov 16th at 12:17 pm IST from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for Artemis 1, the uncrewed mission that marks the beginning of the Artemis Program.
NASA will provide full coverage of the Orion’f lunar flyby on the NASA App, NASA TV, its YOUTUBE channel, and other official social handles. Viewers can also watch the spacecraft skim over the lunar surface by tuning in to the agency’s official website.