NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion capsule sets new flight record

NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion capsule has set a new space flight record for spacecraft designed to carry humans by travelling 401,798 kilometers from Earth. The record was previously held by Apollo 13 which logged the record on April 14, 1970 by travelling 400,171 kilometers.

Apollo 13 was not originally designed to travel that far and the craft was only supposed to complete a moon landing. The plan was quickly aborted when a mid-air explosion damaged the craft’s service module and the focus then shifted to bringing the crew safely back home.

The distance Apollo 13 managed to chart was because of an emergency plan to slingshot the craft using the Moon’s gravity and get it back to Earth as quickly as possible.

The Artemis 1 Orion capsule was also launched without any plan to break the record, it happened because NASA sent the capsule into distant retrograde orbit.

“Artemis 1 was designed to stress the systems of Orion and we settled on the distant retrograde orbit as a really good way to do that,” said NASA’s Jim Geffre, Orion’s spacecraft integration manager.