NASA’s Orion spacecraft has completed all of its engine burns to put it on its homecoming path.
Assuming its 239,000-mile voyage back to Earth goes without a hitch, the uncrewed capsule will splash down off the coast of California on Sunday, December 11.
Read on for full details on how to watch a livestream of its return home.
The Orion spacecraft departed atop NASA’s new SLS rocket in the Artemis I mission on November 16.
The mission is essentially a dry run for a crewed voyage that could take place as early as 2024 using the same rocket and capsule.
The mission has so far gone entirely according to plan, with the Orion making a close flyby of the moon last month before entering a distant retrograde orbit around our nearest neighbor.
During its journey, the capsule has been sending back stunning imagery showing the moon up close and Earth in the background. The Orion also set a new record for the furthest distance traveled from Earth by an astronaut-ready spacecraft.
The Orion spacecraft is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego at 9:40 a.m. PT (12:40 p.m. ET) on Sunday, December 11.
A livestream from Mission Control in Houston will start at 8 a.m. PT (11 a.m. ET). The coverage will track the spacecraft’s entry into Earth’s atmosphere at 24,500 mph, and its parachute-assisted descent to the splashdown site.
The recovery team will also be shown making its way to the spacecraft to pluck it out of the water.
You can watch NASA’s livestream via the video player at the top of this page, or by visiting NASA Live TV, which will carry the same feed.
- NASA astronauts sign their moon rocket
- See how NASA’s cosmos-mapping SPHEREx spacecraft is starting to take shape
- Watch NASA’s trailer teasing next week’s launch of streaming service
- Check out the NASA EV that will drive Artemis crew (partway) to the moon
- NASA’s moon buggies could one day be driving on lunar roads