Artemis 1 has sent home its first stunning image from what will be a 25-day deep space mission.
The mission launched at the top of a Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket at 1:47 a.m. EST (0647 GMT) today (November 16) to conduct an uncrewed test flight around the moon. The new “selfie” image of the Orion spacecraftthe material and Earththe partially illuminated disc from just over nine o’clock in the Artemis 1 flight. At the time, the capsule was more than 57,000 miles (92,000 kilometers) from Earth, about a fifth of the distance to the Moon, and was moving at nearly 5,500 mph (8,800 km /h).
“This view of Earth captured from a human-class spacecraft hasn’t been seen since 1972 during the final Apollo Mission about 50 years ago,” NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones said during the live stream sharing views from the capsule today. “The views of our blue marble in the darkness of the space are now capturing the imagination of a new generation – the Artemis generation.”
In addition to the ‘selfie’ image, NASA also released a view from inside the capsule, showing the ‘passenger’ Commander Moonikin Camposwhich tests the orange suit that the astronauts will wear on board the vehicle during its next flight.
Also visible in the internal view is the Callisto’s experience, a partnership with Amazon to test Alexa technology in space. One of the Orion’s windows is visible towards the right side of the view.
Two other cameras are located inside the spacecraft, according to a NASA statement (opens in a new tab): one looks out of the capsule’s front window and the other looks out of the upper hatch window, where he saw the capsule abandon its launch abort system earlier today and will see the parachute of the capsule deploy upon landing.
Selfie views show the Orion capsule to the left of the image, including its orbital maneuvering system, the big engine propelling its flight around the moon. A solar panel and part of a second are also visible in the image; In total, the vehicle carries four solar panels arranged in the shape of a cross.
The image, in fact, is from one of these panels, which NASA calls “solar panel wings”, or SAW.
“Each of Orion’s four solar array wings is equipped with a commercial off-the-shelf, end-mounted camera that has been heavily modified for use in space, providing a view of the exterior of the craft. space,” said David Melendrez, imagery integration manager for the Orion program. at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the statement said.
The Artemis 1 mission has passed all of its key milestones for launch day. He will spend the next five days walking towards the moon. The capsule will make its closest approach to our satellite on Monday (November 21), then spend several days settling into lunar orbit before reversing its course. The 25-day mission will end on December 11.