This Monday, November 21, the Orion spacecraft of the Artemis 1 mission made its closest flyby of the Moon when it came within 130 kilometers of its surface on its sixth day of travel.
During its journey, NASA’s unmanned capsule took black and white photographs of our natural satellite, which were released yesterday by the space agency through its official Flickr account.
In the postcards, taken at different light conditions, you can see the different craters on the Moon that are the product of the collision of asteroids that travel through the solar system.
Orion made its closest approach while traveling on the non-visible side of the satellite, so it lost communication with NASA engineers. In this sense, these photographs could not be seen during the live broadcast and are only now revealed.
Currently, the Orion spacecraft is in its ninth day of travel: it has already broken out of the lunar gravitational influence and continues to head into a far retrograde orbit, traveling in the opposite direction that the Moon moves around Earth. There, 61,000 kilometers from the satellite, it will remain for a week.
With Artemis 1, the first mission in the Artemis program, NASA is testing whether the new vehicles—both Orion and the Space Launch System, the megarocket that powers it—are completely safe for the trips that will carry humans to the satellite after more than half a century.