NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Breaks Apollo 13 Flight Record

Arturo Campos was a NASA employee who was critical to the safe return of astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise.

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Breaks Apollo 13 Flight Record - RAVZGADGET
NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Breaks Apollo 13 Flight Record.

The Artemis 1 Orion crew vehicle has set a new NASA flight record. Orion flew farther than any spacecraft designed to carry human astronauts had ever flown before on Saturday.

It breaks the previous record set by Apollo 13 in 1970. Orion was approximately 249,666 miles (401,798 kilometers) from Earth at 10:17AM ET.

MORE FROM RAVZGADGET: Watch NASA’s Orion Capsule Pass 80 Miles From The Moon Starting At 7:15 AM

“Artemis I was designed to stress the systems of Orion and we settled on the distant retrograde orbit as a really good way to do that,” said Jim Geffre, Orion spacecraft integration manager.

“It just so happened that with that really large orbit, high altitude above the moon, we were able to pass the Apollo 13 record. But what was more important though, was pushing the boundaries of exploration and sending spacecraft farther than we had ever done before.”

It’s fitting that Artemis 1 was the one to break the record out of all the missions that could have. According to Space.com, the original flight plan for Apollo 13 did not include a record-breaking flight.

The previous record of 248,655 miles (400,171 kilometers) from Earth was set by Apollo 13’s Odyssey command module only after a mid-mission explosion forced NASA to plot a new return course.

With a limited supply of oxygen on the Aquarius Lunar Module, NASA needed to return Apollo 13 to Earth as soon as possible. The agency eventually decided on a flight path that would use the gravity of the Moon to slingshot Apollo 13 back to Earth.

Arturo Campos was a NASA employee who was critical to the safe return of astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise.

MORE FROM RAVZGADGET: NASA Orion Spacecraft Is On Track To Begin Moon Flyby On Nov. 21st

He devised the emergency plan that provided the Command and Service Module with enough power to return to Earth. Artemis 1 is carrying a test dummy named “Moonikin” after the late Arturo.

Orion completed a flyby of the Moon earlier this week. After completing half an orbit around the satellite, the spacecraft will slingshot itself toward Earth. NASA anticipates that Orion will land off the coast of San Diego on December 11th.

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