It’s been awhile since NASA has sent mankind to the moon and that always leads people to beg the question: are we ever going back? Over 45 years ago we made our first trip to the moon by way of a process called trans-lunar injection. Now, NASA is aiming to do it again with testing beginning at some point in 2019. This will be the first time that NASA has tested their Space Launch System along with the brand spanking new, Orion ship.
The Orion is going to go down in history books around the world if all testing goes to plan and the mission hits its expectations. The Orion mission will eventually have a crewed spaceship heading farther away from our planet than any other spacecraft has ever been. Orion will get nearly 270,000 miles away from Earth. To compare this distance a little easier: 270,000 miles away from Earth is the same as flying up to the Space Station and back home to Earth over 500 times.
The entire Orion mission is slated to take nearly 25.5 days. The mission will start with a four-day cruise up and to the moon before it is ‘injected’ into an elliptical orbit around Earth’s moon. The Orion Mission, also known as Exploration Mission 1, will sit in around the Moon’s orbit for nearly a week before spending another four days getting back home to Earth, where it will land somewhere in the Pacific Ocean near the assigned recovery utilities.
If this mission is a success, NASA plans to move toward manned expeditions in a similar fashion. Mike Sarafin is a NASA Mission Manager and he said, “This is the first of many missions to come that will use the deep-space exploration system to prepare our team.” Sarafin and his crew lately confirmed that they are hoping to have a ‘human test mission’ slated to take off at some point in 2023. These missions are considered the first step toward a manned mission to Mars.