Artemis 1: History in the Making

December 11, 2022
Science Magazine

A lot has happened since the last Vertices update on NASA’s Artemis mission. The sister project to the Apollo program has taken us back to the moon for the first time since the ’70s. 

Seen Above: Artemis 1 launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida at 01:47:44 EST November 16, 2022. Image courtesy of NASA.

Artemis 1 launched at 1:47 a.m. on November 16, 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Its mission was to test the newly developed Orion spacecraft and ensure its heat shield can protect future crewed missions from radiation and the heat of high-speed travel through the Earth’s atmosphere. Artemis 1 completed two flybys of our Moon and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11, 2022—the same day that astronauts on Apollo 17, the last manned lunar mission, stepped foot on the Moon exactly 50 years prior. NASA has released several snapshots of Artemis 1’s view as it orbited the Moon, including photos of the Earth from over 250,000 miles away. Hope everyone was smiling for the group shot!

Seen Above: The last image taken of the moon by the Orion spacecraft during its last flyby. Image courtesy of NASA.

The success of the Artemis 1 mission is soon to be followed by Artemis 2: a crewed flyby of the Moon currently slated to launch in May 2024. Look forward to that graduation gift, class of ’24! If the first two Artemis missions are successful, Artemis 3 will launch in 2025 and will be the first lunar landing in five decades.

Seen Above: An image of the Earth and Moon from the Orion spacecraft’s maximum distance from Earth—268,563 miles. This is further than any spacecraft designed to send humans to Earth has ever gone. Image courtesy of NASA.

It’s safe to say we’re all excited here at Vertices. Artemis 1 is paving the way for the first lunar landing in our lifetimes, and NASA is planning to use the technologies developed for Artemis for Mars missions in the coming decades. In the meantime, we’ll be here on Earth, reporting back to you.

Read more about the Artemis Project here.

Seen Above: Orion captured this close-up of the Moon on the sixth day of the Artemis 1 mission. This is the closest photo of the Moon from a human-rated vessel since the Apollo missions. Image courtesy of NASA.

Katherine Long

Katherine (Trinity ‘24) is majoring in biology and chemistry with a concentration in cell and molecular biology. She is passionate about scientific communication and research and is excited to contribute to Vertices as a staff writer and peer reviewer. When she’s not in the lab or doing homework, she loves to paint, hike, and hang out with the Duke cat.

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