Some 390,000 kilometers from Earth, the Orion spacecraft of the POT it has been floating in the vacuum of space and has already started its journey towards its home planet. It was during this procedure that she took the opportunity to capture one of the images most amazing of his short career: he shows lovers of astronomy to the Moonthe Land and the body of the ship itself.
As if it were a science fiction movie, the body of the Orion ship looks very small compared to the entire surface of the Moon. Earth, on the other hand, looks like a planet emerging from the bottom of the photo with a delicate white border crowning its surface. And yes, what can be seen is a tiny red planet. But no, it’s not about Mars. It is simply an effect produced by the lens.
For this photo there was only 129 km between Orion and the Moon
NASA captured the image that can be seen below these lines during one of those moments when the Orion spacecraft was flying directly behind the Moon. As already mentioned above, what is seen in the background as an orange dot is the Earth.
On Monday, December 5, Orion it approached the Moon on its second and final mission at 11:43 am (PET), coming within 129 kilometers of its surface just before return.
The mission is a success, and NASA says, verbatim, that these images are a “significant achievement” for the Artemis I mission. Orion will enter Earth’s atmosphere in a few days. If all goes according to plan, the capsule will be retrieved on December 11. The ship took off on November 16 after several attempts and some delays.
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This is the beginning of future flights to the Moon
The Artemis program is currently the largest ongoing space project. Their goal is to re-enter the Moon and establish a “sustainable presence” on its surface. This involves a colossal project to put various satellites, rovers, robotic learning modules and lunar base infrastructure into orbit.
NASA plans to put people on the moon by 2030, using the Orion spacecraft as a transporter, and is already planning to develop 3D-printed settlements. Subsequently, the Moon will be a “springboard” that will take humanity to other destinations, such as the long-awaited Marsthe red neighbor.
The project is currently in its first mission Artemis I, completing the first Orion launch into lunar orbit. There are five missions in total, and the objective of the third is precisely to set foot on the surface of the Moon during a manned trip.
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The image taken by the Orion spacecraft is a stunning postcard from Earth’s satellite. Of course, its striking resemblance to the ‘Apollo 13’ postera film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, caught the attention of science fiction fans.
And rightly so, as it could be a nod to the Apollo lunar missions of the 1960s, which also aimed to reach a natural satellite.