Journey along with NASA’s latest lunar mission on a tracking website just launched by the agency.
artemis 1the first flight of artemis programthrown out Wednesday morning (Nov. 16). A space launch system rocket, on its first mission, successfully sent an unmanned Orion spaceship towards Moon.
Although the launch is over, you can follow the nearly month-long mission in real time. on this NASA website (opens in a new tab). And, if you want, you can download the trajectory data to create your own apps, the agency has said.
The base’s website shows an animation of Orion in space along with the elapsed time of the mission, the speed of the capsule, and its distance from Earth and the Moon. You can change the view of the Orion spacecraft by rotating the camera or moving between four solar panel wing cameras, or switch between views of the mission trajectory so far. You can also see the spaceship up close.
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“Ephemeris data can be used to track Orion with your own telescope or spaceflight software application. It can also be used to create a physical model, animation, visualization, tracking application, or other conceivable projects,” the writer said. of NASA Erika Peters in a statement. blog post (opens in a new tab) on Tumblr.
Available state vectors, or data describing Orion’s location and movements in space, could also be used for tracking applications and data visualizations, NASA said in a statement. separate post (opens in a new tab) about the project.
The data viewable online is the same as that generated by a group inside NASA mission control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The group, called flight dynamics operations (FDO), is responsible for “keeping track of where the spacecraft is and where it will be,” Peters said.
FDO is getting information by tracking Orion in the Deep Space Network, which is a trio of huge satellite dishes on Earth that enable communication with NASA missions throughout the solar system. Between the tracking information received and the models that FDO generates, the team aims to provide precision on Orion’s path to feed into Artemis’ flight controllers.
“An accurate trajectory is essential for achieving mission objectives, maintaining communications links, lighting, trajectory adjustment and more,” added Peters.
Elizabeth Howell is co-author of “Why am I taller? (opens in a new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @spacedot.com (opens in a new tab) either Facebook (opens in a new tab).
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