Archive for December 17, 2021

12/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Artemis-1 mission may launch in less than 2 months

December 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, December 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:15. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 7:56 tomorrow morning.

In a little less than two months, a fifteen-day launch window opens up to launch Artemis one, the first and hopefully only uncrewed Artemis mission to the Moon in the NASA’s program to land the next man and first woman on the Moon. The uncrewed Orion capsule and the ESA contributed Service Module will orbit the Moon in a very elongated distant orbit of the Moon, retreating out to 38,000 miles (61,000 kilometers)  further than the Moon once or twice before heading within 60 miles of the Moon’s surface on its way back to the Earth. The upper stage, that sends Orion on its way to the Moon, will release some CubeSats as it follows Orion to the Moon, where it will whip around the Moon to orbit the Sun.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.


Artemis-1 orbital plan

Artemis-1 orbital plan. Click on the image to enlarge it. Credit NASA.

The Earth and Moon to scale.

The Earth and Moon to scale. Source Wikipedia.