After flying to the moon and back early last month, NASA’s Artemis 1 has returned to Kennedy Space Center. the return home happened on December 30th. Artemis 1 landed in the Pacific Ocean on December 11th. After the USS Portland recovered the UAV and brought it to Naval Base San Diego on December 13, the capsule embarked on an overland tour to Florida the next day. Artemis 1 began with a memorable night launch on NASA’s next-generation Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket.
— Howard Hu (@HowardHuNASA) December 31, 2022
Now that Orion is back at Kennedy Space Center, NASA will remove the spacecraft’s heat shield so it can conduct a “comprehensive analysis” of the component and determine exactly how it fared upon reentering the atmosphere. The agency will also remove , the test dummy NASA sent aboard Orion to collect data on how the trip to the moon might affect humans. “Artemis I was a major step forward as part of NASA’s lunar exploration effort and is preparing the ground for the next mission of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion to fly the crew on Artemis II around the moon,” NASA said.
Although Artemis II won’t launch until 2024 at the earliest, there’s still a lot to look forward to next year. NASA promised to announce the mission’s crew of four sometime “in early 2023.” Artemis II will set the stage for the first human lunar landing since the end of the Apollo program in 1972, and eventually for a permanent NASA presence on the moon.
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