Three-fourths of Earth is seen in black and white, suspended in the blackness of space. Earth only takes up a small portion of the center of the image, and wispy clouds are visible above its surface.
On the second day of the 25.5-day Artemis I mission, Orion used its optical navigation camera to snap black and white photos of planet Earth. Orion uses the optical navigation camera to capture imagery of the Earth and the Moon at different phases and distances, providing an enhanced body of data to certify its effectiveness as a method for determining its position in space for future missions under differing lighting conditions.

NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft is on the second day of its journey heading toward the Moon as part of a planned 25.5-day flight test. Orion performed a second outbound trajectory burn at 6:32 a.m. EST using the auxiliary thrusters on the European Service Module, which will be used for most trajectory correction burns.

Teams also collected additional images with the optical navigation camera and activated the Callisto payload, a technology demonstration from Lockheed Martin in collaboration with Amazon and Cisco. Callisto is located in the Orion cabin and will test voice activated and video technology that could assist future astronauts on deep space missions.

Yesterday, flight controllers moved each solar array to a different position as the Integrated Communications Officer, or INCO, tested the WiFi transfer rate between the camera on the tip of the solar array panels and the camera controller. The goal was to determine the best position to most efficiently transfer imagery files.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center will host a briefing previewing the pair of maneuvers required to enter distant retrograde orbit Friday at 5 pm. Live coverage will be available on the agency’s website, NASA Television, and the NASA app.

Read the Artemis I reference guide to learn more about Orion and follow along with the Artemis I mission to learn more.

Orion Continues Toward Moon, Callisto Activated