NASA’s Orion capsule rounded the moon today, marking a crucial milestone in a weeks-long Artemis 1 mission that’s preparing the way for sending astronauts to the lunar surface.
As the uncrewed spacecraft maneuvered for its outbound powered flyby, it sent back a spectacular set of images that showed the moon looming larger in its metaphorical windshield, and a tiny blue Earth setting beneath the lunar horizon.
Artemis 1 flight director Judd Frieling said flight controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center felt “giddy” when they saw the pictures come down. “They’re just happy that all of the hard work and dedication that they’ve spent for years — many, many, many years — is really paying dividends,” he told reporters.
Mission manager Mike Sarafin said the flight was proceeding with “no concerns,” other than a few glitches with its power system and its star trackers.