February 26, 2024

NASA Artemis I – Flight Day 25: Orion Spacecraft in Home Stretch of Journey

On Orions return to Earth, NASAs Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) will help with interactions for the last return trajectory correction burn, spacecraft separation, re-entry through the Earths environment, and splashdown. The main objective for the Sasquatch group is to help the ship get as close as possible to Orion for a fast healing.

On flight day 25 of the Artemis I objective, Orion captured this picture of the Moon from a cam installed on one of its solar ranges. Credit: NASA
On Orions return to Earth, NASAs Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) will help with communications for the last return trajectory correction burn, spacecraft separation, re-entry through the Earths atmosphere, and splashdown. Shortly prior to the service module separates from the crew module, interaction will be changed from NASAs Deep Space Network to its Near Space Network for the rest of the objective. Located in geosynchronous orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth, TDRS are utilized to communicate data from spacecraft at lower elevations to ground antennas. Throughout re-entry, the extreme heat generated as Orion encounters the atmosphere turns the air surrounding the pill into plasma and briefly disrupts communication with the spacecraft.
During Underway Recovery Test-8 in March, NASAs Landing and Recovery team from Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center performs its first full mission profile test of the healing treatments for Artemis I aboard the USS John P. Murtha in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA/Kenny Allen
Recovery forces have gotten here on location off the coast of Baja where they will wait to greet the spacecraft after its re-entry back into the environment at 25,000 mph (40,000 km/h). Workers on the ship are running through preparations and simulations to ensure the interagency landing and healing group, led by Exploration Ground Systems from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is all set to support recovery operations. The team includes workers and properties from the U.S. Department of Defense, including Navy amphibious specialists and Space Force weather condition experts, and engineers and service technicians from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Lockheed Martin Space Operations.
Artemis All Access– Episode 6 Artemis All Access is your take a look at the current in Artemis I, the people and technology behind the objective, and what is coming up next. This uncrewed flight test around the Moon will pave the method for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of Artemis. Credit: NASA
Groups will recuperate Orion and effort to recover hardware rejected during landing, consisting of the forward bay cover and 3 main parachutes. The main goal for the Sasquatch team is to assist the ship get as close as possible to Orion for a quick recovery.
Simply after 2 p.m. CST on December 10, Orion was 113,453 miles (182,585 km) from Earth and 239,432 miles (385,328 km) from the Moon, travelling at 3,375 miles per hour (5,432 km per hour)..
Live coverage of Orions reentry and splashdown will start at 11 a.m. EST on NASA TELEVISION, the firms website, and the NASA app. A post-splashdown rundown is arranged for about 3:30 p.m.

Engineers will carry out several extra flight test goals after Orion sprinkles down in the water and before powering down the spacecraft.
On flight day 25 of the Artemis I objective, Orion recorded this photo of the Earth from an electronic camera mounted on one of its solar arrays. The final and 6th trajectory correction burn will take location about five hours before Orion enters Earths atmosphere.

Artists impression of Orion over Earth. Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab
As the end of NASAs Artemis I objective approaches, the Orion spacecraft is on its last complete day in area. Splashdown is targeted for 11:39 a.m. CST (12:39 p.m. EST) on Sunday, December 11, off the Baja Coast near Guadalupe Island.
Engineers carried out the final Artemis I in-space developmental flight test objective to identify temperature level impacts on solar variety wings from plumes, or exhaust gases. Once the solar array wing remained in the right test position, flight controllers fired the reaction control system thrusters utilizing opposing thrusters concurrently to balance the torque and test a range of firing patterns. Engineers will carry out a number of extra flight test goals after Orion crashes in the water and before powering down the spacecraft.
On flight day 25 of the Artemis I objective, Orion captured this image of the Earth from a camera installed on one of its solar varieties. The spacecraft is now closer to Earth than to the Moon and will crash on Sunday, December 11. Credit: NASA
The fifth return trajectory correction burn occurred at 2:32 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 10. During the burn the auxiliary engines fired for 8 seconds, speeding up the spacecraft by 3.4 mph (5 feet per second) to ensure Orion is on course for splashdown. The final and 6th trajectory correction burn will happen about 5 hours prior to Orion gets in Earths environment.