The Artemis mission puts the Moon within reach of NASA

The Artemis mission puts the Moon within reach of NASA
The Orion capsule is fired off the deck of the USS Portland during recovery operations Sunday in the Pacific Ocean off the Mexican island of Guadalupe. MARIO TAMA/Pool via AFP

DECRYPTION – The American automatic mission has achieved all its objectives, but the future is more uncertain.

The Artemis 1 mission, the first test flight preparing for the return of American astronauts to the Moon, is a total success for NASA. Just over twenty-five days after take-off and at the end of a journey of 2.2 million kilometers with two close flybys of our natural satellite, the Orion automatic capsule landed in the Pacific under parachutes at 6:40 p.m. ( French time), with only a few tens of seconds difference with the scheduled time.

For the American space agency, which has been widely criticized for the extra costs of the program and the years of delay in developing the giant SLS rocket and the Orion capsule, this success is excellent news, even if it does not guarantee that the schedule will be better respected in the future.

All the critical elements, from the SLS launcher, the most powerful ever sent into space since the Saturn 5 of the Apollo missions, to the Orion automatic capsule, fulfilled their role perfectly. It is also a great satisfaction…

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