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NASA's Moon mission has exceeded expectations

NASA officials said on Friday that the Orion spacecraft is outperforming expectations three days after taking off from Florida and heading for the Moon.

The spaceship will transport men to the Moon in the following years, making them the first to step foot on its surface since the 1972 Apollo mission. This first test flight without a crew tries to check the vehicle's safety.

Mike Sarafin, mission director for Artemis 1, stated, "We met today to discuss the Orion spacecraft performance... it is surpassing performance objectives."

According to Jim Geffre, the Orion manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the spacecraft's four solar panels, which are roughly 13 feet (four meters) long, deployed perfectly and are generating more energy than projected. The spaceship is being flown from that Texas control center. Orion is already 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) away from Earth, poised to conduct the first of four big thrusts slated for the mission.

This maneuver, which will take place early Monday morning, will get the spacecraft as close to the lunar surface as 80 miles (130 kilometers) in order to take advantage of the Moon's gravitational attraction. NASA expects to lose touch with the spacecraft for around 35 minutes because this will take place on the far side of the Moon.

Flight director Jeff Radigan stated that we will travel over some of the Apollo landing sites, although in darkness. NASA will release footage of the flyby.

A second blast from the engines will send Orion in a distant orbit around the Moon four days later. The ship will go 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, setting a new record for a habitable capsule.

After just over 25 days of flight, it will begin its trip down to Earth, with a landing in the Pacific Ocean set on December 11. The success of this mission will influence the fate of the Artemis 2 mission, which will carry men around the Moon without landing, and the Artemis 3 mission, which will eventually bring humans back to the lunar surface. These missions are slated for 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Sarafin also stated on Friday that ten scientific micro-satellites were launched with the rocket, but that half of them were suffering technical or communication issues.

Those trials, conducted separately by distinct teams, will have no effect on the primary mission.


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