We're on the NASA team that just launched Artemis I around the Moon and brought it back to Earth. Ask us anything!
Last Sunday, NASA’s Orion spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, wrapping up our 25.5-day, 1.4-million-mile (2.5-million-km) Artemis I mission to the Moon and back.
Artemis I was the first integrated test of Orion, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and Exploration Ground Systems at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. We’ll use these deep space exploration systems on future Artemis missions to send astronauts to the Moon and create a long-term presence on the lunar surface, preparing for our next giant leap: sending the first humans to Mars.
Artemis I was an uncrewed mission to fully test and understand the rocket and spacecraft before astronauts fly to the Moon, but Commander Moonikin Campos and our other test manikins were aboard to collect flight data and measure radiation levels. Orion also carried payloads designed to help prepare for crewed long-duration missions, including biological experiments and several CubeSats that got a lift to space for their own individual missions.
As Orion entered its distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, taking it farther than any spacecraft designed to carry humans to deep space and safely return them to Earth, we captured some incredible photos and videos—and there’s a lot more info that we’ll be able to get from Orion now that it’s back on the ground.
Now that the Artemis I mission is complete, what’s next for lunar exploration? How will Artemis I build the foundation we need to secure a long-term human presence on the Moon? What do the future of Artemis missions look like?
Ask us anything! We are:
- Sharmila Bhattacharya: NASA’s Senior Program Scientist for Space Biology, NASA Headquarters (SB)
- John Blevins: Space Launch System Chief Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center (JB)
- Jim Free: NASA Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters (JF)
- Sarah Noble: Artemis Lunar Science Lead, NASA Headquarters (SN)
- Carla Rekucki: Assistant NASA Recovery Director, Exploration Ground Systems, Kennedy Space Center (CR)
- Michelle Zahner: Mission Planning and Analysis Lead, Orion Vehicle Integration Office, Johnson Space Center (MZ)
We’ll be around to answer your questions from 2-3pm ET (1900-2000 UTC). Talk soon!
EDIT: That’s a wrap for us! Thanks to everyone for joining us today, and follow Artemis on social media for the latest mission updates. Ad astra!