A week after its lunar fly-by just 127km above the surface of the moon, the NASA capsule Orion has splashed back down on earth.
NASA’s Orion capsule splashes down
NASA’s Orion capsule has barreled through Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific ocean after making an uncrewed voyage around the moon.
The splashdown saw the end of the inaugural mission of the US agency’s Artemis lunar program 50 years to the day after Apollo’s final moon landing.
The gumdrop-shaped Orion capsule, carrying a simulated crew of three mannequins wired with sensors, plunked down in the ocean at 9.40 am local time off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, executing a key demonstration of how future lunar astronauts would safely return to Earth.
“From Tranquility Base to Taurus-Littrow to the tranquil waters of the Pacific, the latest chapter of NASA’s journey to the moon comes to a close. Orion, back on Earth,” said Rob Navias, a NASA commentator speaking on a live stream.