NASA’s Artemis I mission comes to an end, Orion returns to Earth

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NASA’s Artemis I mission to deep space and back is coming to an end as the uncrewed Orion spacecraft passed the moon on Monday morning, embarking on the final leg of its journey.

Orion will continue to push back and pull completely out of the moon’s gravitational pull on Tuesday. The return from the coast to Earth will take about six days. Ignited at speeds of up to 25,000 mph, Orion is set to pierce Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday, December 11.

Orion’s atmospheric re-entry will push its heat shield and parachute-assisted landing system capabilities to the limit as Orion returns from lunar orbit for the first time. A subsequent landfall is scheduled for 12:42 p.m. ET in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, concluding the 26-day demonstration mission.

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