NASA's Moon-Heading Orion Spacecraft Snaps a Farewell Image of Earth

By Aahil

Space

NASA's Artemis 1 mission is in full swing, with the agency's SLS megarocket blasting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning.

The recently launched Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon, but it caught a sweet view of Earth before saying goodbye.

Orion will travel for 25 days, penetrating 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the Moon before returning to Earth.

Ahead of its journey, Orion captured gorgeous views of our home planet, shimmering in a soft shade of blue against the dark backdrop of space.

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 1:47 p.m. ET.

About an hour after liftoff, the Orion successfully separated from the rocket's upper stage to begin its solo journey to the Moon.

The spacecraft performed a trans-lunar injection maneuver, launching it on its way to the Moon.

Increasing its speed to more than 22,600 mph, upon separation from the propulsion stage, the Orion capsule began its coast toward the Moon.

The spacecraft should reach the Moon by November 22, flying about 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the lunar surface.

From there, Orion will use the force of the Moon's gravity to propel it on a reverse, looping orbit that extends up to 40,000 miles from the Moon.