It is the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.
The Orion spacecraft of the Aremis I mission, which lifted off on 16 November. The purpose of a lunar flyby, is embarking on its return journey to Earth, which will culminate on 11 December.
The spacecraft successfully completed the departure burn from distant retrograde orbit at 21.53. UTC on 1 December, firing its main engine for 1 minute and 45 seconds. The spacecraft on course for a close lunar flyby before its return home.
The engine ignition changed Orion’s velocity by approximately 138 metres. Per second and was performe using the Orion main engine in the European Service Module. This is a veteran orbital manoeuvring system engine design modified for use on Orion and built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Artemis I returns to Earth and successfully completes its mission
The engine is capable of providing 6,000 pounds of thrust. The engine tested flying on Artemis I flew on 19 Space Shuttle flights, beginning with. STS-41G in October 1984 and ending with STS-112 in October 2002.
This is one of two manoeuvres required before Orion’s splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on 11 December. The second will occur on Monday, 5 December. When the spacecraft will fly 127 kilometres above the lunar surface and perform the return powere flyby ignition, which will put Orion on course for Earth.
The teams also continued thermal testing of the star trackers during their eighth and final planned test. Star trackers are a navigational tool that measure the positions of stars to help the spacecraft determine its orientation. In the first three days of the mission’s flight, engineers evaluate initial data to understand the star tracker readings correlated with the thruster firings.
At 2230 UTC on 1 November, Orion was travelling 382,000 kilometres from Earth and 85,000 kilometres from the Moon, cruising at 3,700 kilometres per hour, NASA reports on the mission blog.
Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft and ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center. The mission will pave the way for a manned test flight and future human lunar exploration as part of the Artemis programme.