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Artemis 1 mission: See the last image of the Earth taken by the Orion capsule.

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Earth with the appearance of a “waning moon”, one part of which is illuminated by the Sun, and the other – at night.

Photo: Disclosure/NASA

Earth with the appearance of a “waning moon”, one part of which is illuminated by the Sun, and the other – at night. (Photo: Disclosure/NASA)

Considered the starting point for a new era of lunar and deep space exploration, the Artemis 1 mission was successfully completed on December 11 by a dive at 2:40 pm (Brazil time) off the coast of Baja California, a Mexican state that borders the US California.

The spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 40,000 km/h, about 32 times the speed of sound, exactly 25 days after taking off on a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. the goal is to pave the way for a sustainable human presence on the Moon.

On the way back home, before encountering a turbulent re-entry, Orion made a stunning final recording of our blue planet in the dark vastness of space, and the US space agency shared a live video on Twitter.

The main purpose of this unmanned flight was to fly around our natural satellite to test the core technologies for all other Artemis program missions, such as the transportation mega-complex formed by the SLS and the Orion capsule, in addition to communications and life support systems.

During the mission, Orion reached a distance of almost 435,000 km from Earth, reaching the farthest point that any spacecraft designed to transport people has ever been from our planet.

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According to Space.com, the previous mark of 400,171 km refers to the Apollo 13 mission, which, in fact, was not supposed to fly that far. The spacecraft orbited the Moon rather than landed on the surface after the failure of an oxygen tank in the service module.

After this first flight of the Artemis program, a follow-up is expected in 2024, with the crew aboard the Artemis 2 mission, which was designed to repeat the same pattern, also without landing on lunar soil.

In fact, this should only happen between 2025 and 2026, with the Artemis 3 mission finally allowing humanity to set foot on the moon again, more than half a century after our last visit in 1972 with the Apollo mission. -17″. . . .

A curious fact linking the most recent manned lunar mission to Artemis 1 is that the Orion capsule returned to Earth exactly 50 years after astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt entered history as the last of the 12 the man who put his feet on the moon. on the moon.