NASA completed the first step in its planned return to the Moon on 11 December 2022 when the Orion capsule landed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California’s Baja peninsula.
Splashdown is the final milestone of the Artemis I mission that began with a successful liftoff of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket Nov. 16…Over the course of 25.5 days, NASA tested Orion in the harsh environment of deep space before flying astronauts on Artemis II.
Fifty years ago, Apollo 17 left the U.S. on 07 December 1972, headed for the Moon. On board: Commander Eugene A. Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald E. Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt, the “first trained geologist to travel to the Moon“. It was the last flight in the Apollo program.
Four days later, at 7:54:57 p.m on 11 December, Commander Cernan and Schmitt would become the last people to land on the Moon in the 20th century.
They departed three days later at 10:54:37 p.m. Commander Cernan left the Moon with these words:
“We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”
On the 53rd anniversary of Apollo 11, NASA announced launch dates for Artemis I.
During Barack Obama’s second year in the White House, NASA retired the 30-year-old space shuttle program. The first shuttle, Columbia, lifted off on 12 April 1981. The last shuttle, Atlantis, landed in Florida on 21 July 2011.
The uncrewed Artemis I will launch on a mission that goes beyond the moon and returns to Earth. This mission will kick off NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon and land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface by 2025.