Approximately 390,000 kilometers from Earth, the Orion spacecraft from NASA he has floated in the vacuum of space and has already begun his journey to his home planet. It was during this procedure that she took the opportunity to capture one of the images most surprising of his short career: he shows astronomy lovers al moonthe Land and the body of the vessel itself.
As if it were a science fiction film, the body of the Orion ship seems 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 you can see is a tiny red planet. But no, it is not Mars. It is simply an effect produced by the lens.
For this photo, there were only 129km 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 mentioned above, what you see in the background as an orange dot is the Earth.
Monday 5 December, Orion approached the Moon on its second and final mission at 11:43 am (PET), coming within 129 kilometers of its surface shortly before return.
The mission is a success and NASA states verbatim that these images are a “significant result” 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 recovered on December 11th. The vessel took off on 16 November 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 return to 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 get people to 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 “stepping stone” that will take humanity to other destinations, such as the long-awaited one Marsthe red neighbor.
The project is currently in its first Artemis I mission, completing the first launch of Orion 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 journey.
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The image taken by the Orion probe is a splendid postcard from the terrestrial satellite. Of course, its striking resemblance to the “Apollo 13” poster.a film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, it has attracted the attention of science fiction fans.
And rightly so, because it might be a nod to the Apollo lunar missions of the 1960s, which also aimed to reach a natural satellite.