NASA Briefly Lost Contact With Orion, Spaceship Moving Deeper Into Space

The Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distance 6 photos
Photo: NASA/Orion Spacecraft
The Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distanceThe Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distanceThe Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distanceThe Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distanceThe Orion spaceship and the Moon in the distance
Despite all the troubles it had before actually getting off the ground, and several encountered along the way, as the Orion spaceship moves through the void, the Artemis I mission seems a very successful one so far. That isn’t to say the excitement is over though.
The most recent hiccup in the mission occurred on November 23 at 12:09 a.m. CST. At that time, NASA engineers decided to conduct a reconfiguration of the communication link between Orion and the Deep Space Network, something that was done several times before, successfully.

Only this time, for reasons unknown, Earth lost data link to and from the spacecraft, a situation that was resolved after 47 very tense minutes. According to the info NASA provided, the cause of the incident is not yet known, but the let’s-call-it blackout did not impact Orion in any way.

The spaceship, now in its eighth day of its 25-day mission, is moving further away from the Moon and deeper into space. NASA says Orion “exited the gravitational sphere of influence of the Moon Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 9:49 p.m. CST at a lunar altitude of 39,993 miles.“

The thing is now getting ready to enter a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, and will reach the farthest distance from the Moon on Friday, November 25. From there, it will begin its journey back home.

After that point is reached, Orion will perform an orbit insertion burn. At the time of the last NASA update, on November 23, the ship had used 3,971 pounds of propellant during its journey, 147 pounds less than prelaunch expected values.

At the exact time of writing, Orion is at 217,536, miles (350,090 km) away from Earth and 52,993 miles (85,283 km) away from the Moon. The ship is moving at a speed of 2,718 mph (4,374 kph).
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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