NASA: The Orion spacecraft of the Artemis 1 mission reveals its first photos of the surface of the Moon

The capsule launched into space by NASA as part of the Artemis 1  mission has finally shared its first images of the lunar surface.

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Artemis 1 , the NASA mission  that serves as the first step for humanity to eventually return to the Moon , continues after the launch of the Orion spacecraft aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and, one week after this fact , finally reached the orbit of the Moon. Being at its closest point to Earth ‘s satellite , the capsule managed to capture its first photographs of the lunar surface.

A few days ago, the Orion spacecraft , which for now only carries dummies and the necessary equipment for the reconnaissance mission on board, was about 130 kilometers from the surface of the celestial body. Thanks to this, he was able to capture several high-quality images of the Moon and send them to the space agency, which didn’t take long to share them  with the rest of the world.

An arduous journey pays off

It is a fact that the Artemis 1 mission represented quite a headache for NASA . From the multiple delays suffered by the launch of the SLS rocket due to various factors to the loss of contact for 47 minutes with the Orion capsule for reasons that have not been clarified, the journey of the space agency with the start of its ambitious program was extremely bumpy. . However, it is thanks to these types of rewards that the organization’s astronomers work so hard for.

The spacecraft was already close to the Lunar surface and was able to capture its first images of these areas. These images were taken at a speed of 8,120 km/h and perfectly exemplify what happens with a star that has no atmosphere, like our planet. The multiple craters that are observed are the product of meteorite impacts that do not completely disintegrate in the absence of this layer.

An ambitious project for the future of space exploration

According to what the agency details, Orion is transiting through a different orbit from that of the Apollo missions . Specifically, the spacecraft travels a distant retrograde orbit, which will allow it to become the astronaut vehicle that will go further from Earth in its entire history. This requires the use of the Moon ‘s gravity as a “catapult” to increase its speed and has already been chosen to test the capsule’s engines and heat shields in conditions that cannot be replicated on our planet.

On its return trip to Earth , Orion will bring with it data obtained by the sensors of the dummies it carries on board as well as measurements that the spacecraft itself obtained. These will be analyzed by NASA engineers with the aim of making the necessary modifications to carry out the manned mission without problems, with a view to the astronauts being able to set foot on the lunar surface again at some point.