NASA’s Orion capsule reached a distance of 401,000 km from Earth, breaking the record set in 1970 by Apollo 13 as the furthest human-carrying spacecraft in history.
The US space agency reported this past Saturday (26), on the Orion spacecraft’s Twitter account, that the capsule reached a point 86,000 km from the Moon while traveling at a speed of 3,300 km/h.
The unmanned Artemis I mission, of which Orion is part, surpassed the distance of 400,171 kilometers from Earth, breaking the historical record for the lunar mission set in 1970.
During its trip around the Moon, in which it will reach a distance of 64,400 kilometers on the other side of the satellite, NASA predicts that, on Monday (28), the spacecraft will be at the maximum distance from Earth that it will reach this mission: more than 430 thousand kilometers.
The spacecraft has been moving since Friday in a “retrograde orbit”, which means that it circles the Moon in the opposite direction to that in which the Moon travels around the Earth, having spent on Monday 130 kilometers from the lunar surface, the closest you will get to the satellite on this mission.
Mike Sarafin, manager of Artemis, said this week that the mission “is exceeding expectations” and that the capsule is performing very well.
“We continue to learn about outer space along the way on this new spacecraft,” he added in a teleconference.
The unmanned Artemis I mission seeks to pave the way for lunar exploration for the subsequent deployment of astronauts.
The overall goal of NASA’s Artemis program is to put humans on the moon for the first time in half a century and establish a base on the satellite as a stepping stone to Mars.
The last NASA mission on which astronauts set foot on the Moon dates back to Apollo 17, which took place between December 7 and 19, 1972.