NASA’s Artemis I mission has been in the spotlight lately, and we recently saw Orion’s stunning video of the Earth “setting” behind the moon. On its sixth day of flight, the spacecraft took detailed pictures of the lunar surface. NASA has shared it with the public so you can get a close-up look at our home planet’s natural satellite.
Orion took the photos with its optical navigation camera. As you can see, the images show the craters on the moon in black and white. “Orion uses the optical navigation camera to capture images of the Earth and Moon at different phases and distances,” writes NASA, “providing an expanded set of data to certify their effectiveness in different light conditions to orient the spacecraft for future missions.” Crew.”
NASA successfully launched Artemis 1 on November 16, 2022 and all mission milestones have been achieved so far. At the moment, Orion is less than a day away from entering a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, some 50,000 miles from its surface. “Because of the distance, the orbit is so large that it takes the spacecraft six days to complete half a revolution around the moon before de-orbiting for the return trip back to Earth,” NASA explains. And while we wait, here are also some snaps Orion took with a camera mounted on one of its solar arrays. You can find many more photos on NASA’s Flickr, and you can read more about the Artemis mission on NASA’s blog.
[via New Scientist]