NASA's Orion spacecraft sets new distance record

STORY: NASA's Orion capsule is setting new records

[Date: November 28, 2022]

[Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator]

"On Saturday, Orion surpassed the distance record for a mission with a spacecraft designed to carry humans into deep space. And that record before had been set by Apollo 13 at about 248,000 miles from Earth. And just over an hour ago, Orion set another record, clocking its maximum distance from Earth, 270,000 miles."

The Artemis I mission marks an big change in direction

for NASA's human spaceflight program after Apollo

Named for the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt

and Apollo's twin sister

Artemis aims to bring astronauts back

to the moon's surface as early as 2025

"Not only are we going farther and coming home faster, but Artemis is paving the way to live and work in deep space, in a hostile environment, to invent, to create and ultimately to go on with humans to Mars."

Orion is carrying a simulated crew of three mannequins

fitted with sensors to measure radiation levels

and other stresses that astronauts would experience

[Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator]

"Of course, we've said from the beginning, since this is a test flight, the biggest test after the launch is the re-entry, because we want to know that that heat shield works at about 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, almost half as hot as the sun."

Orion is set to splash down

in the Pacific Ocean on December 11