Artemis I Orion returns to Earth following month long flight
HOUSTON, Tex. (NBC) - The historic Artemis I moon mission concluded Sunday with the Orion capsule splashing down into the Pacific Ocean.
Artemis I launched last month from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
After a 1.4 million mile flight lasting nearly 26 days, the next generation crewless Orion capsule returned to Earth.
The capsule entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at at 12:20pm before splashing down, right on schedule, at 12:40pm.
This occurred off the west coast of the Baja Peninsula.
Throughout its mission, the Orion capsule beamed back photos and videos of the lunar surface.
The Artemis I flight also provided NASA with an important opportunity to test Orion's heat shield.
NASA has touted the Artemis I test flight as laying the foundation for returning U.S. astronauts to the moon.
It's also a key first step for space exploration to Mars.