The Orion spacecraft has now started to enter a wider orbit after sweeping 130 km (80 miles) above the lunar surface.
Due to the fact that the manoeuvre took place on the far side of the Moon and started at 12:44 GMT, the vehicle lost touch for 34 minutes.
According to BBC reports on Tuesday, 22nd Nov, 2022:
The spacecraft transmitted an image of the Earth along with the signal. Since the mission’s launch last week, NASA says it has “exceeded expectations” thus far.
Nasa flight director Zebulon Scoville said:
“This is one of those days that you’ve been thinking about and dreaming about for a long, long time.
“This morning, we just saw the Earth set behind the Moon as we take the next human-rated vehicle around the Moon, preparing to bring humans back there within a few years. This is a game-changer.”
The spacecraft zoomed over the landing sites of Apollo 11, 12 and 14 as it made the close approach.
The Artemis mission began on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the launch of the most powerful rocket Nasa has ever built.
It placed Orion on a path towards the Moon. The capsule has already sent back several selfies during its journey
Because this is a test flight, no astronauts are on board this time – instead three manikins, covered in thousands of sensors, are making the journey.
“Those sensors are getting an idea of whether the environment is going to be OK for people,” explained Nasa astronaut Zena Cardman.
“So there are things like radiation sensors, motion sensors, accelerometers – things that we as human payloads are going to care a lot about.”
And this is important because if this flight goes well astronauts will join the next ride, first of all going into orbit around the Moon, before a third Artemis mission then takes the first woman and first person of colour down to the lunar surface.
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