The most powerful rocket in the world has launched NASA's Orion spacecraft on a 25-day journey to the Moon and back to Earth as part of the space agency's Artemis program.
NASA has taken to its blog to outline and summarize what has long been the objective of the Artemis 1 mission. With the launch being the first hurdle NASA has now put behind it, the space agency has moved on to what's now up next for Orion. The small spacecraft is a critical mission for NASA's future Artemis mission as it will inform the agency on what changes/improvements it will need to make to reduce risk as well as yield better results.
The space agency recently announced on its blog that Orion performed a burn that successfully put it on its way to the Moon. When Orion was approximately 58,000 miles away from Earth, the small spacecraft used its cameras located on its solar panels and inside the cabin to snap some photographs. Those photographs can be found in the link below.
"What an incredible sight to see NASA's Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft launch together for the first time. This uncrewed flight test will push Orion to the limits in the rigors of deep space, helping us prepare for human exploration on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
"It's taken a lot to get here, but Orion is now on its way to the Moon. This successful launch means NASA and our partners are on a path to explore farther in space than ever before for the benefit of humanity," said Jim Free, NASA deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate.