The Uncrewed Orion capsule is now at its goal, a distant circular orbit of the Moon. Spacecraft successfully completed an uninvolved burn for trajectory correction earlier today.
NASA has confirmed the results of a “good burn,” saying Orion was successfully placed into an orbit that was distant and retrograde in the Moon. The launch was launched with the time of 4:52 p.m. ET according to the plan and lasted one minute and 28 secs.
NASA’s coverage begins at 4:52 p.m. ET and the burn to correct the trajectory is scheduled to start around 4:52 p.m. ET. You can watch the live stream on NASA TV or YouTube. The burn should last less than two minutes which means it’s not a lengthy process.
The distant retrograde orbit (DRO) is known as “distant” because Orion will travel for forty-five miles (64,000 kilometers) over the Moon before returning. It’s a massive orbit so huge, in fact, it’s estimated that “it will take the spacecraft six days to complete half of a revolution around the Moon before exiting the orbit for the return journey back to Earth,” according to NASA. NASA, the “retrograde” aspect of the orbit implies that the spacecraft will orbit around our own natural satellite in a different direction than the Moon is traveling around Earth claimed by NASA.
Orion is on track to break the record for distance on Apollo 13 Saturday at 298,565 miles (480,494 kilometers) from its home. No vehicle with a crew rating has ever been able to travel this far past the Moon.
Orion finished its final and sixth trajectory correction today. The spacecraft was launched and started with the transition into DRO the day before on November 21 is currently traveling at 2610 miles an hour (4,200 kilometers per hour). NASA suddenly and abruptly stopped communication with Orion the following day; however, the spacecraft was otherwise functioning as expected.
Prior to that, however, Orion must pull off the orbital insertion today and make an escape maneuver on December 1 to get out of the lunar gravity clutches. The process of escaping an orbit that is retrograde requires Orion to conduct a lunar flyby. Orion is likely to splash down within the Pacific Ocean on December 11.
Artemis 1 is the first of what NASA hopes to be a series of increasingly complicated missions that will explore the lunar landscape. NASA is planning to repeat the mission with astronauts aboard in 2024 and finally land human beings on the Moon later in the decade.