NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft reached the farthest distance from Earth it will travel during the Artemis I mission — 268,563 miles from our home planet — just after 3 p.m. CST on November 28th.
The spacecraft also captured imagery of Earth and the Moon together throughout the day, including of the Moon appearing to eclipse Earth.
Reaching the halfway point of the mission on Flight Day 13 of a 25.5 day mission, NASA says the spacecraft remains in “healthy condition” as it continues its journey in distant retrograde orbit, an approximately six-day leg of its larger mission thousands of miles beyond the Moon.
“Because of the unbelievable can-do spirit, Artemis I has had extraordinary success and has completed a series of history making events,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement. “It’s incredible just how smoothly this mission has gone, but this is a test. That’s what we do – we test it and we stress it.”
NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems team and the U.S. Navy are beginning initial operations for recovery of Orion when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.
The team deployed Tuesday for training at sea before return to shore to make final preparations ahead of splashdown.