Advertisement

NASA animated videos show Artemis' path to the moon

NASA's SLS rocket stands on Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Tuesday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
1 of 4 | NASA's SLS rocket stands on Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Tuesday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- NASA has released a series of animated videos to explain how the agency's Artemis I mission plans to fly to the moon, orbit and return to Earth later this year.

The short videos, collectively titled Orion's Journey, show how the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule will blast off from Earth and fly 240,000 miles to the moon.

Advertisement

Once there, the spacecraft will enter Distant Retrograde Orbit, a long-distance orbit that will send Orion 40,000 miles past the moon. NASA said this plan will send Orion farther away from Earth than any previous spacecraft built to carry humans.

After being in DRO for several days, Orion will resume a closer orbit of the moon, before using the moon's gravity and its own engines to head back to Earth.

Eventually, the Artemis program plans to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972. NASA aims to send the first crewed Artemis mission to the moon in 2025.

That first crewed mission, Artemis III, is expected to put the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. Artemis I could launch as early as August, a delay from the original June launch window.

Advertisement

Wet dress rehearsals on the SLS rocket launching Artemis I have revealed valve, fueling and leaking issues. Crews have been inspecting the craft since late April.

Along with the Orion's Journey videos -- subtitled "Leaving Earth," "Entering Distant Retrograde Orbit" and "Returning Home" -- NASA released a series of coloring pages based on the animations.

NASA's biggest rocket, SLS, gets ready for moon mission

The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket carrying an Orion spacecraft lifts off on the maiden flight of NASA's Artemis Program from Complex 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center on November 16, 2022. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines