Friday, January 27, 2023

NASA Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft heading back to Earth

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Market Desk (Tech): Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft is on its way back to Earth. It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11 at 5:30 pm GMT.

The spacecraft recently made its last powered flyby approximately 127km above the lunar surface. The upcoming Artemis 2 mission will be a crewed spaceflight around the Moon which will take place in late 2024.

The Artemis 1 mission, a test demonstration flight of the Orion spacecraft and the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, took off on November 16.

Recently, NASA conducted an initial assessment of the SLS rocket and revealed that the Moon rocket exceeded all expectations on its maiden voyage. The Artemis 3 mission plans to land astronauts on the Moon, almost 50 years after Apollo 17.

As part of the exercise, the new Orion spacecraft traveled from very close to the moon to very far away. It goes at a distance of 430 thousand km from the earth. This is the first human-carrying spacecraft to travel such a long distance. However, there were no people in the vehicle on this trip.

Engineers want to test whether the spacecraft’s outer structure can survive the intense heat during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere on the return journey. Friction and pressure with the air will heat up structure to nearly 3,000 degrees during its return at about 39,500 km/h.

NASA and the spacecraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, will have to make sure that the capsule’s bottom shield can withstand the extreme heat before sending astronauts aboard in the future.

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