NASA’s Artemis 1 mission will reach its maximum distance from Earth today.
Artemis 1, the first flight of the Artemis program, will see the Orion spacecraft get nearly 270,000 miles (435,000 kilometers) from Earth on Monday (Nov. 28), NASA officials wrote in a statement (opens in new tab).
Orion has already surpassed the previous farthest distance from Earth reached by a human-rated spacecraft on its journey around the moon. On Saturday (Nov. 26), the uncrewed capsule flew past the record-setting distance achieved by the Apollo 13 crewed command module, surpassing 248,655 miles (400,171 km) from Earth at about 8:40 a.m. EST (1340 GMT) that day.
Orion is an uncrewed journey around the moon to let NASA engineers assess the spacecraft’s readiness ahead of human missions, which are currently planned to begin with the crewed Artemis 2 mission looping around the moon in 2024 or so.
In photos: Amazing views of NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket debut
You can follow live views in real time either through this camera feed (opens in new tab), or as an animation, on this NASA website (opens in new tab). The animated website shows how far Orion is from Earth at any given moment.
The website shows Orion in space, along with its mission elapsed time, velocity, and distance from Earth and the moon. You can look at different views of the spacecraft by switching between solar array cameras or views of the mission track or spacecraft.
Orion is set to return to Earth on Dec. 11 with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, as long as the mission continues to go to plan.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).