Apollo and Artemis are celebrating. It was 50 years ago that humanity last touched down upon the moon, in a series beginning with Nasa’s Apollo 11 in 1969 when Neil Armstrong took “One step for a human, one giant leap for humankind,” culminating when Apollo 17 in 1972 took the iconic “Blue Marble” photo.
Celebrating the family golden anniversary, Artemis (Apollo’s sister, in Greek mythology) again circled the moon, preparing to land soon for a permanent home. Artemis mission partners Nasa and Esa plan to establish a base: “to live, to work, to invent, to create.” (Nasa: Nelson, 2022) A permanent lunar base may provide opportunity to support expeditions to Mars – and beyond.
December 11, 2o22 was a fly-by, orbiting and testing Orion equipment including a new heat-shield that proved successful as the space vehicle entered the atmosphere at 25,000 miles per hour (40,000 meters per hour) – speed as blistering as the heat of 5,432 Fahrenheit (3,000 Celsius). Next flight is planned for 2024-2025.
Artemis and Apollo may now be celebrating in México: the mission capsule landed safely in the sea near Guadalupe Island, on the same weekend marking the 1531 sacred apparition and visitation of the patron saint of Mexico City- the feast of Guadalupe.
Amos, Jonathan. “Nasa’s Orion capsule makes safe return to Earth.” 11 December 2022. BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63937345
Nelson, Bill. NASA 11 December 2022. As quoted in Amos (see above).
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Un