A satellite has given us beautiful chook’s-eye views of NASA’s towering Artemis 1 moon rocket, only a few days earlier than the massive car leaves Earth.
Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-3 satellite snapped two photographs of the Artemis 1 stack on Wednesday (Aug. 25) because it sat on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
“Our first image was collected more directly looking down from the satellite’s orbit toward the KSC,” Maxar representatives wrote in an emailed description of the images on Wednesday.
“The second image (which we call a high off-nadir collection) was collected while the satellite was south of Cuba (nearly 700 miles [1,125 kilometers] southwest of the KSC) and was looking back at a steep angle to the launch pad,” they added.
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The Artemis 1 stack consists of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion crew capsule, with two stable rocket boosters strapped to both aspect of the SLS. If all goes in keeping with plan, the mission will elevate off on Monday morning (Aug. 29), sending Orion on an uncrewed journey to lunar orbit.
As its title suggests, Artemis 1 is the primary mission in NASA’s Artemis program of moon exploration. The 42-day-long flight will mark the first-ever liftoff for the highly effective SLS and the primary journey past Earth orbit for Orion, which circled our planet throughout an uncrewed check flight in 2014.
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If all goes nicely with Artemis 1, Artemis 2 will carry astronauts to lunar orbit in 2024, and Artemis 3 will put boots on the moon close to the south pole in 2025 or 2026.
WorldView-3 launched to Earth orbit in August 2014. Maxar and its prospects use the satellite for quite a lot of functions, together with maintaining tabs on Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).