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The Orion capsule has returned to Earth in the Pacific

NASA’s Orion spacecraft beamed back close-up photos of the moon and Earth on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. The crew capsule and its test dummies will aim for a Pacific Ocean splashdown on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, off the coast of San Diego after a three-week test flight, setting the stage for astronauts on the next flight in a couple years. (NASA via AP)

(CALIFORNIA)– The Orion capsule has returned to Earth in a successful splashdown in the Pacific.

The Orion was just one aspect of the Artemis I mission, paving the way for humanity’s path back to the moon.

Orion concluded its journey back to Earth with a trajectory called a “skip re-entry” experiencing temperatures of about 5,000 degrees.

The capsule then skipped back out of the upper reaches of the atmosphere, alleviating some of the heat, speed, and G-forces.

Once the complex splash-down process concluded, the Orion was retrieved by NASA crews, working in tandem with the Navy.

NASA plans to use this test flight to aid in launching a fully manned crew to the moon before 2030.