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Outer Space

Check out NASA’s Artemis spacecraft’s stunning selfies

Jaw-dropping portraits saw the lunar surface in close proximity.

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The Moon is seen as flight control team used the cameras on the Orion's solar wings to do a thorough inspection of the spacecraft. (NASA Orion via SWNS)

By Dean Murray via SWNS

As NASA's Artemis spacecraft arrived at the Moon Monday, November 21, the spacecraft snapped some amazing selfies.

Jaw-dropping portraits saw the lunar surface in close proximity as the flight control team used cameras on Orion's solar wings to do a thorough inspection of the spacecraft.

Orion’s entry into the lunar sphere of influence made the Moon, instead of Earth, the main gravitational force acting on the spacecraft.

The Moon is seen as flight control team used the cameras on the Orion's solar wings to do a thorough inspection of the spacecraft. (NASA Orion via SWNS)
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The maneuver saw flight controllers conducting an outbound powered flyby burn to harness the force from the Moon’s gravity, accelerate the spacecraft, and direct it toward a distant retrograde orbit beyond the Moon.

Orion re-acquired signal with NASA’s Deep Space Network at 12:59 GMT after successfully performing the outbound powered flyby burn with a firing of the orbital maneuvering system engine for 2 minutes and 30 seconds to accelerate the spacecraft at a rate of more than 580 mph.

At the time of the burn, Orion was 328 miles above the Moon, traveling at 5,023 mph.

Shortly after the burn, Orion passed 81 miles above the Moon, traveling at 5,102 mph.

At the time of the lunar flyby, Orion was more than 230,000 miles from Earth.

The outbound powered flyby burn is the first of two maneuvers required to enter the distant retrograde orbit around the Moon.

The spacecraft will perform the distant retrograde orbit insertion burn Friday, November 25, using the European Service Module.

Orion will remain in this orbit for about a week to test systems. The distant retrograde will take Orion 40,000 miles past the Moon before it returns to Earth.

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