The Orion spacecraft came within 81 miles of the moon, and NASA has released some pictures to prove it. “Talk about showing both sides of the story,” NASA wrote in a tweet above the pictures. “On flight day 9, @NASA_Orion took these images looking forward to the Moon, and back home toward Earth.”
As for the “both sides” reference, Orion actually traveled behind the moon, to the part that can’t be viewed from Earth, with the pictures revealing what that side looks like.
NASA Releases New Images of The Moon
Orion has been on its journey since Nov. 16, when it launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, atop the Space Launch System. The mission, known as Artemis I, took to space as sort of a trial run with NASA aiming to put astronauts back on the moon for the first time in 50 years.
Per the Huffington Post:
“Should everything go well with this mission, it will break Apollo 13’s record for longest distance traveled by a spacecraft designed for humans, according to New Scientist magazine.”
NASA was able to snap the black and white images with Orion capsule’s optical navigation camera. It is said to be tested for future moon flights! “Orion uses the optical navigation camera to capture imagery of the Earth and the Moon at different phases and distances, providing an enhanced body of data to certify its effectiveness under different lighting conditions as a way to help orient the spacecraft on future missions with crew,” NASA stated.
Looks like we’re getting closer to closer to seeing what is actually up on the moon after all! How exciting for us, one step closer to the future. Let’s see what’s next! Thank you, NASA.