NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft will arrive in orbit around the moon on Friday afternoon (November 25), and you can watch the momentous moment live.
Orion since then, it makes its circuitous path to the nearest neighbor of the Earth launch last Wednesday (November 16) on NASA Artemis 1 mission — and the unmanned capsule is about to reach its destination.
At 4:52 p.m. EST (9:52 p.m. GMT) on Friday, Orion is scheduled to perform an engine burn that will launch the spacecraft into a deep retrograde orbit (DRO) around the moon. You can follow all the action live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, starting at 4:30 PM EST (9:30 PM GMT).
DRO will take Orion about 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the Moon at its farthest point. Traveling this way, the capsule will set a new record for traveling farther from Earth than any previously estimated human spacecraft.
The current estimate of 248,655 miles (400,171 km) is held by NASA Apollo 13 a mission that should not have traveled so far. Apollo 13 circled the moon instead of landing on its hull after an oxygen tank in the spacecraft’s service module failed in deep space.
Orion will spend just under a week at DRO. The capsule will leave lunar orbit with a burnt-out engine on December 1, before heading home to Earth. If all goes according to plan, Orion will arrive here on December 11th with a launch in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.
Artemis 1’s nearly 26-day mission is designed to test the massive Orion and NASA Space launch system The rocket that launched the capsule into the sky last week, ahead of planned crewed missions to the moon.
The first of those astronaut flights, Artemis 2send Orion around the Moon in 2024. Artemis 3 then the boots will be placed near the south pole of the Moon in 2025 or 2026. The next landing missions will come as NASA builds a crewed research outpost in the south polar region, a key goal of its Artemis program.
Mike Wall is the author of “There (opens in a new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrations by Carl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) or Facebook (opens in a new tab).
https://www.space.com/artemis-1-orion-arrive-orbit-moon Watch the Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft enter lunar orbit on Friday