Space agency NASA has brought home yesterday its next-generation Orion spacecraft after a near-26-day mission to orbit the Moon.
The Orion capsule for the Artemis I mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and a descent that was further slowed by parachutes. Because this was a test, there were no people aboard this time, but that will change for the next flight.
NASA associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate Jim Free said reporters that with Orion safely returned to Earth, the next mission will begin which will fly crew to the Moon for the first time as a part of the next era of exploration. This was last achieved exactly 50 years ago to the day by the crew of Apollo 17. The agency’s new project is called Artemis, who in Greek mythology was the sister of Olympian god Apollo. Nasa has described the return of Orion to Earth yesterday as its priority one objective.