NASA Artemis I Orion Parachutes

Water landing! NASA’s Orion successfully returns to Earth after historic Moon mission

NASA Artemis I Orion Parachutes

At 12:40 p.m. EST on December 11, 2022, NASA’s Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission crashed in the Pacific Ocean after a 25.5-day mission to the Moon. Orion was recovered by the NASA Landing and Recovery Team, US Navy and Department of Defense partners aboard the USS Portland. Credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel

Sunday at 9:40 a.m. PST,

Founded in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civil space program, as well as aeronautical and aerospace research. His view is "Discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values ​​are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence and inclusion."

” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Orion spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, bringing a record-breaking mission to a close. Artemis I kicked off on November 16, with the launch of Orion atop the powerful new Space Launch System moon rocket. In a mission that lasted 25.5 days, Orion traveled 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, setting a new distance record of 268,563 miles from Earth for a spacecraft designed to carry a human crew. The total distance traveled by the Orion capsule exceeded 1.4 million miles.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California, at 9:40 a.m. PST on Sunday, December 11, 2022, after a record-breaking mission. During the Artemis I flight test, the Orion spacecraft traveled more than 1.4 million miles on a path around the Moon and returned safely to Earth.

Splashdown is the final milestone of the Artemis I mission that began with a successful liftoff of NASA’s Space Launch System (

“The splashdown of the Orion spacecraft – which occurred 50 years to the day after the Apollo 17 moon landing – is the crowning achievement of Artemis I. From the launch of the world’s most powerful rocket to the exceptional journey around the Moon and back to Earth, this flight test is a major step forward in the Artemis generation of lunar exploration,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This would not be possible without the incredible team of NASA. For years, thousands of individuals have been involved in this mission, which inspires the world to work together to reach unspoiled cosmic shores. Today is a huge victory for NASA, the United States, our international partners and all of humanity.

Artemis I Orion Recovery Operations

NASA’s Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission was successfully recovered inside the well deck of the USS Portland on December 11, 2022, off Baja California. After launching atop the Space Launch System rocket on November 16, 2022 from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Orion spent 25.5 days in space before returning to Earth, completing the Artemis I mission. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

During the mission, Orion made two lunar flybys, within 129 km of the lunar surface. At its furthest distance during the mission, Orion has traveled nearly 270,000 miles (435,000 km) from our home planet, more than 1,000 times farther than where the International Space Station orbits Earth. Earth, to intentionally stress the systems before flying with the crew on board.

“With Orion safely back on Earth, we can begin to see our next mission on the horizon that will carry the crew to the Moon for the first time as part of the next era of exploration,” Jim said. Free, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration. Management of the systems development mission. “This begins our path to a steady mission cadence and sustained human presence on the Moon for scientific discovery and to prepare for human missions to

Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. It’s a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere. Iron oxide is prevalent on the surface of Mars, hence its reddish color and nickname "The red planet." The name Mars comes from the Roman god of war.

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Before entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the crew module separated from its service module, which is the propulsion plant provided by the ESA (European Space Agency). During reentry, Orion endured temperatures about half as hot as the surface of the Sun at about 5,000 degrees

The Fahrenheit scale is a temperature scale, named after German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and based on the one he proposed in 1724. In the Fahrenheit temperature scale, the freezing point of water freezing is of 32°F and water boils at 212°F, a separation of 180°F, as defined at sea level and standard atmospheric pressure.

” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{” attribute=””>Fahrenheit. Within about 20 minutes, Orion performed a skip entry and slowed from nearly 25,000 mph to about 20 mph for its parachute-assisted splashdown.

During the flight test, Orion stayed in space longer than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has done without docking to a space station. While in a distant lunar orbit, Orion surpassed the record for distance traveled by a spacecraft designed to carry humans, previously set during Apollo 13.

“Orion has returned from the Moon and is safely back on planet Earth,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager. “With splashdown, we have successfully operated Orion in the deep space environment, where it exceeded our expectations, and demonstrated that Orion can withstand the extreme conditions of returning through Earth’s atmosphere from lunar velocities.”

Recovery teams are now working to secure Orion for the return trip. NASA leads the Interagency Landing and Recovery Team on the USS Portland, which consists of U.S. Department of Defense personnel and assets, including Navy amphibious specialists, weather specialists from Space Force and Air Force specialists, as well as engineers and technicians from NASA Kennedy, the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Lockheed Martin Space Operations.

In the next few days, Orion will return to earth where technicians will unload the spacecraft and truck it back to Kennedy. Once in Kennedy, teams will open the hatch and unload several payloads, including Commander Moonikin Campos, space biology experiments, Snoopy, and the official flight kit. Then, the capsule and its heat shield will be tested and analyzed for several months.

Artemis I was the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems – the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket and supporting ground systems – and was supported by thousands of people across the world, from the contractors who built the spacecraft and rocket, and the ground the infrastructure needed to launch them, to international and academic partners, to small businesses supplying subsystems and components.

Through the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a springboard for astronauts en route to Mars.

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