After more than 1.4 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) on one historic voyage to the moon and back, NASA’s Orion capsule splashed in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday after its near-perfect test flight.
This week, NASA released a 24-minute video highlighting some of the most exciting moments of the 25.5-day mission from the start Space Launch System (SLS) rocket started until Orion spaceship parachuted his way Low.
Launched November 16 from Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SLS initiated NASA’s Artemis program, which envisions returning humans to the moon after more than 50 years.
The video begins with the explosive takeoff, revealing a unique rocket POV as she leaves the ground. The twin side boosters and four SLS RS-25 engines generated a whopping 8.8 million pounds of thrust on liftoff, maKing it is the most powerful rocket ever built.
The rocket then flies through the dark sky, followed by a fiery trail. The side boosters and core stage fell within the first 500 seconds of the mission, while the preliminary cryogenic propulsion stage placed Orion on its trajectory before separating from the spacecraft.
After that, everything focuses on Orion. The video then shows the inside of the crew cabin that was decorated with hidden messages and memorabilia. The loud roar of rocket launch is followed by the peaceful stillness of space with breathtaking views of Earth and the Moon captured by Orion’s cameras.
The unmanned capsule is eerily still, with the back of Commander Moonikin Campos, a Puppet for collecting flight data, to the camera. But the lifeless commander enjoys the view with haunting footage revealing the Earth and its satellite in the depths Space.
During the mission, Orion performed two flybys of the moon, coming within 128 kilometers of the lunar surface.
With a little less than 10 minutes remaining in the video, the Orion capsule begins its descent back to Earth. Orion went from 20,000 miles per hour (32,100 kilometers per hour) to 20 mph (32 km/h) during its parachute-assisted descent. During its reentry through Earth’s atmosphere, Orion withstood temperatures of about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), which NASA says is about half the temperature of the Sun’s surface.
The video offers a dizzying POV as the capsule makes its way to the ocean with the three parachutes flapping overhead. Orion eventually plunges into the ocean, ending his unprecedented journey to the moon and back.
More: NASA hid these Easter eggs for space nerds on the Artemis 1 Orion capsule