With just days to go until the launch of NASA’s highly anticipated Artemis I lunar mission, the space agency has revealed how you can track the Orion spacecraft’s progress in real time during its six-week voyage.
After launching atop NASA’s brand-new and extremely powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 29, the Orion spacecraft will fly more than 250,000 miles to the moon before coming within just 62 miles of its surface.
After orbiting the moon for almost a week, the Orion will return to Earth before splashing down off the coast of Baja, California, at the end of an epic 1.3-million-mile mission.
Well aware that plenty of space fans will be keen to access the latest updates from the Artemis I mission, NASA will be launching the Artemis Real-time Orbit Website (AROW) with all the latest news.
The space agency said the AROW site will offer imagery and data that allow you to “pinpoint where Orion is and track its distance from the Earth, distance from the moon, mission duration, and more.”
It added: “AROW visualizes data collected by sensors on Orion and sent to the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston during its flight. It will provide periodic real-time data beginning about one minute after liftoff through separation of the SLS rocket’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage approximately two hours into flight. Once Orion is flying on its own, AROW will provide constant real-time information.”
Commenting on the AROW feature, its creator Seth Lambert said: “This is a really powerful way to engage with the mission and understand the scope of what NASA is trying to accomplish with Artemis I.”
NASA said it will also make Orion’s location data freely available for “data lovers, artists, and creatives to make their own tracking app, data visualization, or anything else they envision.”
It added that while AROW was developed for the upcoming Artemis missions, it may use the same technology to offer visualizations of other space missions in the future.
The AROW site will go live on NASA’s website a day before Artemis I’s launch on August 28.
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