The Artemis 1 mission has been completed by NASA‘s Orion spacecraft. It landed just under an hour ago off the coast of Baja California in the Pacific Ocean.
American astronauts have returned to the moon, according to the Artemis project. The return itself is not scheduled until 2025-2026.
Artemis 3 Mission
It was a significant mission for NASA. This is the first launch of the super heavy rocket SLS, and the first launch of Orion. During this mission, Orion was also the farthest away from Earth of any manned spacecraft. It reached a distance of 432,210 kilometers from the Earth, surpassing the previous record of 400,171 kilometers established in 1970.
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The Next Orion Flight
Orion has already surpassed NASA’s expectations, but after it returns it will be able to collect a lot of data. Management specialists must assess the vessel’s condition after landing and returning.
During the next flight, Orion will be carrying astronauts with it. As part of the Artemis 2 mission, which includes a tour around the moon without landing, the event will take place in 2024.
NASA’s Artemis 3 Mission
The ambition only increases. In 2025 or 2026, NASA plans to land astronauts on Artemis 3, a mission that will use SpaceX’s Starship as a lunar lander. In the future, Artemis missions will explore the south polar region, which is thought to have a lot of water ice.
A small moon-orbiting space station called Gateway is also planned by NASA as part of the Artemis mission. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is expected to carry the first elements of Gateway into space in late 2024.