NASA’s Orion went DARK for 47 minutes – but not before sharing new images of the moon

Nasa unexpectedly lost communication with Orion early Wednesday morning, leaving ground crews in the dark for 47 minutes, but the capsule returned fascinating new images of the moon before disconnecting,

Communication was lost at 1:09 a.m. ET and crews have been working to resolve the issue with a ground-side reconfiguration – but the cause of the issue has yet to be determined.

Orion captured up close shundreds of craters littering the lunar surface as it soared 81 miles above while traveling at 5,102 miles per hour and at the time of this flyby on November 21, the capsule was 230,000 miles above Earth.

The craft is set to perform an engine burn on Friday that will put it into orbit around the moon and if all goes well, Orion will remain on the way next week, then return to Earth on December 1.

Orion will stay in this orbit for about six days, then reignite its engines to head home.

NASA lost communication with Orion early Wednesday morning, but ground crews were able to re-establish a direct link.  The capsule made its first close flyby of the moon on November 21

NASA lost communication with Orion early Wednesday morning, but ground crews were able to re-establish a direct link. The capsule made its first close flyby of the moon on November 21

The images were taken in black and white but show stunning detail of the lunar surface and the darkness of space

The images were taken in black and white but show stunning detail of the lunar surface and the darkness of space

It is scheduled to crash in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego on December 11, completing a 25.5-day mission.

Although shot in black and white, the new series of images show incredible detail on the moon’s cratered surface.

The photos of the Artemis I mission were taken on day six, November 21, but released on Wednesday.

A previous image shared by the capsule was a gorgeous selfie it took last Friday before making its first close approach to the moon which captured the latest set of images.

The high-resolution photo, taken on Friday, shows the cone-shaped crew pod horizontally as it heads toward our celestial neighbor.

Orion took the selfie using a camera mounted on its solar panel wing during a routine external inspection of the spacecraft on day three of the Artemis I mission.

Orion captured close-ups of craters littering the lunar surface as it hovered 81 miles above while traveling 5,102 miles per hour and at the time of this flyby on November 21, the capsule was at 230,000 miles. of the earth

Orion captured close-ups of craters littering the lunar surface as it hovered 81 miles above while traveling 5,102 miles per hour and at the time of this flyby on November 21, the capsule was at 230,000 miles. of the earth

The craft is set to perform an engine burn on Friday that will put it into orbit around the moon and if all goes well, Orion will remain on the way next week, then return to Earth on December 1.

The craft is set to perform an engine burn on Friday that will put it into orbit around the moon and if all goes well, Orion will remain on the way next week, then return to Earth on December 1.

The capsule has already captured a stunning ‘blue marble’ image of Earth nine hours into its epic journey.

The image shows the round planet we call home filled with swirling white clouds and blue oceans surrounded by the blackness of space, as well as parts of the orbital maneuvering system and the solar wing attached to Orion.

Engineers expected to lose communication with the spacecraft as it passed behind the moon for about 34 minutes, but the loss of communication on Wednesday was unexpected and lasted twice as long.

“The team solved the problem with a ground-side reconfiguration. Engineers are reviewing data from the event to help determine what happened, and the command and data processing officer will downlink data recorded on board Orion during the outage for inclusion in this assessment,’ NASA shared in a statement early Wednesday.

“There was no impact to Orion and the spacecraft remains in a healthy configuration.”

Orion will make its closest approach 60 miles to the lunar surface before returning to Earth next month

Orion will make its closest approach 60 miles to the lunar surface before returning to Earth next month

Engineers expected to lose communication with the spacecraft as it passed behind the moon for about 34 minutes, but the lost contact on Wednesday was unexpected and lasted twice as long.

Engineers expected to lose communication with the spacecraft as it passed behind the moon for about 34 minutes, but the lost contact on Wednesday was unexpected and lasted twice as long.

The capsule has already captured a stunning 'blue marble' image of Earth nine hours into its epic journey.  The photo shows the round planet we call home filled with swirling white clouds and blue oceans surrounded by the blackness of space, along with parts of the orbital maneuvering system and attached solar wing in Orion

The capsule has already captured a stunning ‘blue marble’ image of Earth nine hours into its epic journey. The photo shows the round planet we call home filled with swirling white clouds and blue oceans surrounded by the blackness of space, along with parts of the orbital maneuvering system and attached solar wing in Orion

Artemis I is the uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft launched last Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida.

Artemis I is designed to show that the SLS capsule and Orion are ready to carry astronauts to the moon on subsequent Artemis II and Artemis III missions.

This historic launch marks the first step in the US space agency’s goal of bringing people back to the lunar surface for the first time in half a century.

If successful, the mission will be followed by a human journey around the moon in 2024 and could lead to the first woman and first person of color to follow in Neil Armstrong’s footsteps the following year.

The stumbling block to that has been the numerous delays NASA’s new mega moon rocket has faced, with its first launch date pushed back several times since August.

However, after enduring fuel leak problems, engine trouble and escaping the clutches of not one but two hurricanes, the $4 billion SLS finally blew up in orbit.

And NASA’s efforts have paid off, as it obtains the first images of epic journeys.

NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon in 2025 as part of the Artemis mission

Artemis was Apollo’s twin sister and moon goddess in Greek mythology.

NASA has chosen her to personify its journey back to the moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2025 – including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human exploration of deep space and demonstrate our commitment and ability to extend human existence to the moon and beyond.

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon during a mission lasting approximately three weeks.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars.  This graphic explains the different stages of the mission

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the different stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any astronaut ship without docking with a space station and will return home faster and warmer than ever.

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps in human deep space exploration where astronauts will build and begin testing near-moon systems needed for lunar surface missions and exploration. to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars.

They will take the crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans on board.

Together, Orion, SLS and Kennedy’s ground systems will be able to meet the most challenging requirements of deep space crew and cargo missions.

Eventually, NASA is looking to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will discover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances, and lay the groundwork for private companies to build a lunar economy.

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