/ 13 December 2022

Houston, we have no problems with Orion

Image source: iStock
Image source: iStock

NASA officials say its Orion lunar spacecraft’s landing off the coast of Mexico yesterday was “textbook”, declaring it a win. In case you’ve been under a moon rock for the past month, the Artemis I mission launched on 16 November – it was a 26-day uncrewed flight around the moon and back as a test for future crewed missions to the surface of the moon and beyond. It had a speedy return, with the capsule flying through the Earth’s atmosphere at 32 times the speed of sound and sustaining toasty reentry temperatures of 2,760C before diving into the ocean, presumably to cool off/freshen up… The price tag = US$4 billion, but with the spacecraft and its 3 test dummies safely recovered, it’s looking good for bigger missions in 2024. As Buzz Lightyear would say, “to infinity, and beyond”…

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