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Orion a day away to break 52-yr-old record set by Apollo 13

The Orion spacecraft is slated to set a number of records ten days after taking out from Cape Canaveral. Read More

Saturday November 26, 2022 1:29 AM, ummid.com News Network

Orion a day away to break 52-yr-old record set by Apollo 13

[Orion spacecraft captured this image of Moon on 9th day (Image tweeted by NASA)]

Washington: The Orion spacecraft is slated to set a number of records ten days after taking out from Cape Canaveral.

As it reaches 4,32,192 kilometres from the planet, the spacecraft will surpass the record set by Apollo 13 for the furthest distance travelled by a spacecraft intended for humans.

The Apollo 13 spacecraft, which was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space programme and the third with a Moon landing objective, holds the previous record. However, two days into the mission, an oxygen tank in the service module failed, forcing the landing to be cancelled. When NASA was able to safely retrieve all three men from the dying spaceship, the spacecraft had already reached 4,00,171 kilometres from Earth.

The Orion, presently in the 9th day of its mission, is just one day away from breaking a record. The spacecraft will continue to travel at a speed of 4,200 kilometres per hour when it enters a far-off retrograde orbit around the Moon.

The goal of the 25-day mission is to show that the system can successfully send human to the Moon.

"Orion is now about one day away from entering into a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. The orbit is “distant” in the sense that it’s at a high altitude approximately 50,000 miles (about 80,467 kilometers) from the surface of the Moon", Nasa said in a blog update.

Orion is scheduled to perform an engine burn that will insert the spacecraft into a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) around the Moon on Friday at 4:52 p.m. EST (2152 GMT), NASA said.


"Due to the distance, the orbit is so large that it will take the spacecraft six days to complete half of a revolution around the Moon before exiting the orbit for the return journey back to Earth", NASA said.

Star trackers

During the last day in the transit to distant retrograde orbit, flight controllers performed a third in a series of planned star tracker development flight tests relative to the Sun, with a fourth planned for tomorrow.

Star trackers are a navigation tool that measure the positions of stars to help the spacecraft determine its orientation. In the first three flight days, engineers evaluated initial data to understand star tracker readings correlated to thruster firings, NASA said.

Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft.

NASA launched the Artemis 1 Moon Mission last week after several failed attempts.

NASA on Monday Nov 21 said Orion on its 6th day into the Artemis I mission successfully completed its fourth orbital trajectory correction burn using the auxiliary engines ahead the first of two manoeuvres required to enter a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon.

Though successful so far, the Orion spacecraft had on 8th day of its launch had lost contact with the NASA control station. The communicaton loss was restored after 47 minutes.

 

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