Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
NASA's Orion spacecraft, which lifted off last week as a part of the Artemis I mission, has captured a breathtaking image of the moon.
As the spacecraft swung past our natural satellite during its fly-by yesterday, it took the lunar photo and NASA shared it with the world.
Orion is supposed to move about the moon now that it has separated from the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
While the craft was manoeuvring 129km above the lunar surface, the crew module capture a high-resolution image of the moon. Successfully completed at 12:44 GMT (07:44 EST), the manoeuvre provided a unique angle and a remarkable close-up.
NASA's official Twitter handle for the Artemis mission, @NASAArtemis published the photo. "The @NASA_Orion spacecraft captured this image of the Moon during its sixth day of flight, as it approached its first outbound powered flyby of the #Artemis I mission and its closest lunar approach," the agency wrote in the caption.
Planet Earth, which a user named "our little piece of rock" was also seen in a screengrab of a video.
Four engine thrusts have been planned for the Orion for the entire mission. Orion performed the first one yesterday where the manoeuvre accelerated the vehicle to 8,211 kph. It went on for about two minutes and 30 seconds.
The high speed helped the spacecraft battle the lunar gravitational force and will help it enter the moon's orbit soon.
Reportedly, Orion lost connection with NASA for a brief moment. This is the first time a vessel has visited the moon since the Apollo mission five decades ago.
"Interesting side of the moon! Not the usual one we see most of the time with all the "seas"! This side has an interesting huge crater!" a user exclaimed.
Some users were not impressed and posted the photo captured by Apollo.