Artemis 1’s Orion sees Earth set behind the moon (video)
A mesmerizing new video shows Earth setting behind our moon as a spacecraft flies nearby.
Artemis 1NASA’s first flight Artemis programlaunched early wednesday morning (November 16). All stages after the release of the top of the huge Space Launch System rocket have been verified so far, including a decisive engine burnout of the unmanned Orion spaceship in moon on Monday (November 21).
NASA live-streamed the engine burn and also broadcast live footage of Orion flying close to the Moon when the capsule signal was available.
“You see the Earth; you see home. You see yourself in that image right there, as Orion is 232,000 miles away [373,000 kilometers] away from the planet The Earth,” NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones said during Monday’s (Nov. 21) live broadcast of Orion’s lunar flyby on NASA TV.
Orion’s high-resolution view of Earth on Monday was far from the first time we’ve caught a glimpse of our planet from so far away.
During the broadcast, Jones recalled the famous Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968, when three astronauts broadcast live black-and-white footage from the moon during the first manned lunar orbit. Apollo 8 crew member Bill Anders also captured a still color image of “Sunrise on Earth” above the lunar surface, which remains iconic to this day.
Jones also mentioned “pale blue dot” image taken by NASA Voyager 1 probe in 1990 from above the plane of the solar system and beyond the orbit of Neptune. The nickname comes from a scientist and popularizer of science Carl Sagan.
In recent years, Earth observation satellites such as Finnish NPP and GO-16 have provided photos of “blue marble” from high above our planet. Periodic flybys of spacecraft such as BepiColombo in 2020 they also showed ours The full disk of the Earth.
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After Orion’s flyby on Monday, NASA Flight Director Zeb Scoville said the sight of Earth setting behind the moon “is a game changer” as NASA prepares to send humans back to the lunar realms with the Artemis 2 mission, which it is currently scheduled to fly no earlier than 2024.
“I went to work at NASA, when I got here we were flying the shuttle,” Scoville recalled on NASA TV.
“We were building a space station and flying it. It’s an amazing vehicle, but on the horizon was always how humanity would get back to the moon… [We’re] preparing to return the people there in a few years. It’s a game changer.”
Elizabeth Howell co-authored “Why am I taller? (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).
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