After a round-trip flight to the Moon, a NASA spacecraft will finally complete its long journey in late 2022.
The Orion spacecraft was on a truck bound for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on the Florida coast after crashing into the Pacific Ocean on December 11 to take up Artemis 1, NASA officials said in a release. updated on Thursday night (December 21). The spacecraft had circled the moon before impact and has been preparing for a cross-country trip to Florida since docking in San Diego on December 1. 13.
“On arrival at Kennedy, technicians will open the hatch and unload some of the payload… as part of a maintenance operation,” NASA officials wrote. “In addition to removing the payload, Orion’s heat shield and other items will be removed for analysis and any remaining hazards will be removed.”
NASA’s Orion spacecraft recall scene after docking in San Diego on December 13, 2022 aboard U.S.S. Portland. Before boarding the truck, engineers inspected the Orion’s windows and taped up cardboard panels to protect the glass from the long journey on land. Team members also deflated the five airbags atop Orion, ready in case the spacecraft flipped upside down in the Pacific Ocean.
NASA is expected to name crew Artemis 2 as early as 2023, with the Canadian Space Agency making a parallel announcement of its own astronaut on the mission. Artemis 2 will orbit the moon no earlier than 2024 to test Orion life support systems. The first landing mission, Artemis 3, is expected to follow and return astronauts to the moon around 2025.
In addition to a biological experiment that was removed from Orion shortly after arrival in port, many payloads remained on board the spacecraft. These oddities include three mannequins, a plush doll Snoopy, Shaun the Sheep, Lego minifigures and Amazon’s version of Alexa in space, among others.
- NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft has begun its long journey home
- Check all news and articles from the latest Space news updates.