NASA has released some astonishing footage that shows our home Earth rising behind the Moon. The video was captured on November 28 by the Orion spacecraft during its closest flyby of the lunar surface as part of the Artemis I mission. The mission took off from Earth aboard NASA’s next-gen Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
NASA also explained why the two celestial bodies are wobbling in the video: “The slight wobble is because the camera was in a fixed position on the spacecraft’s solar array while the moon and Earth continued to move in their orbits relative to Orion,” adding the footage is playing 900 times faster than the actual speed.
On Nov. 28, our Orion spacecraft captured the Earth rising behind the Moon.
The #Artemis I flight test happened around 50 years after the iconic Apollo 17 “Blue Marble” photo of Earth was taken. See the similarities and differences between the two eras: https://t.co/lEllEjjRkv pic.twitter.com/lM1W3BH2mR
— NASA (@NASA) December 24, 2022
Celebrating the 54th Anniversary Of “Earthrise”
On Christmas, NASA’s History Office took to Twitter to share the iconic “Earthrise” image that was taken by the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, marking its 54th anniversary. The uncrewed Artemis I mission was launched on November 16 and returned to Earth, splashing down off the California coast after almost a month on December 11.
“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth” –Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut
“Earthrise,” one of the most powerful photos in @NASA’s history, was taken by Anders #OTD in 1968 as the Apollo 8 crew orbited the Moon. pic.twitter.com/uqORVUyVZf
— NASA History Office (@NASAhistory) December 24, 2022
During its mission, the Orion spacecraft came within just 80 miles of the Moon’s surface before entering an orbit that took the spacecraft to a point further than any human-rated spacecraft has ever made it from Earth.
Artemis I Mission’s Success Paves The Way
In just a few years from now, astronauts will be taking the same route as the Artemis I mission aboard the same spacecraft as part of the Artemis II mission. The latter’s success will pave the way for the crewed Artemis III mission expected to take place in 2025, where the space agency will use Orion to put the first person of color and the first woman on the lunar surface.
NASA’s ultimate goal with the Artemis program is to set up a permanent base on the Moon where astronauts can stay for an extended period and explore the lunar terrain. Not just that, the marquee space agency also aims to use the lunar base as a stepping stone for the maiden interplanetary mission. NASA could use the Moon base to launch a crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s. All these missions will only depend on the success of the Artemis III mission.
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published: Wednesday, December 28, 2022, 8:40 [IST]
…. to be continued
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