NASA's Artemis 1 Orion capsule lands in Pacific to end epic moon mission.

The first mission of NASA's Artemis moon program is in the books.

An uncrewed Orion capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California this afternoon (Dec. 11), bringing a successful end to NASA's historic Artemis 1 moon mission after a 1.4 million-mile (2.3 million kilometers) flight. The splashdown occurred 50 years to the day of NASA's Apollo 17 moon landing, the last astronaut mission to touch down on the lunar surface.

Artemis 1 was a shakeout cruise for Orion, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and their associated ground systems. Further analyses await, but early indications are that all of this gear passed the test with flying colors — meaning NASA can likely start gearing up for the first crewed Artemis flight, a round-the-moon effort in 2024.

NASA originally tried to launch Artemis 1 in late August, but several technical glitches, including a leak of liquid hydrogen propellant, pushed things back a month. 

Source: www.space.com


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