NASA’s Orion capsule broke the record for the greatest distance from Earth for a spacecraft designed to carry humans on Monday.
The craft travelled 270,000 miles away from the Earth on the 11th day of the Artemis mission, breaking Apollo 13’s record.
The craft’s mission is to journey beyond the Moon, with a retrograde orbit that began on Friday. Orion will remain in its extended Moon orbit for six more days until its return to Earth on Sunday, where it will touch down in the Pacific Ocean.
Orion smashed the record for the greatest distance for a mission of a spacecraft that is designed to carry humans to deep space and back to Earth at 7:42 a.m. on Saturday, according to NASA. The previous record was created by the Apollo 13 mission at 248,655 miles. Orion’s maximum distance was over 270,000 miles on Monday.
The capsule contains a manikin in a space suit which it will fly safely back to Earth as part of the mission. The manikin’s suit contains sensors that will give NASA data on what a human crew member could potentially experience in a similar deep space flight.
“Artemis builds on the experience of Apollo. With Artemis, humans will return to the lunar surface, and this time to stay,” NASA said in a blog post.
“NASA will use innovate technologies to explore the Moon’s South Pole and more of the lunar surface than ever before using the Gateway space station in lunar orbit along with advanced spacesuits and rovers. NASA will lead the way in collaboration with international and commercial partners to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.”