‘Our blue marble:’ Artemis’ Orion spacecraft captures its 1st view of Earth on way to moon

Artemis moon rocket launched from Florida coast

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orion spacecraft during its Artemis I mission to the moon gave humans a view back on Earth that they haven’t seen in decades from a human-rate spacecraft.

It’s a view of the Earth many of us have only seen in history books: a blue planet against a vast black space. As the Orion spacecraft opened its solar array wings, the imagery system captured its first view of Earth from over 57,000 miles away.

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NASA said the view is something humans have not seen from a human-rate spacecraft since the last moon mission in 1972.

“The views of our blue marble in the blackness of space now capturing the imagination of a new generation, the Artemis generation,” the NASA commentator said as the video continued.

The Artemis I mission — consisting of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch Systems rocket — launched just before 2 a.m. Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center.

Orion is traveling at 5,459 mph to the moon. The spacecraft is barely into the first day of a 25.5-day test flight that will see the spacecraft travel around the moon in an orbit that will see Orion travel farther out than any spacecraft has before, giving NASA crews the chance to conduct all kinds of test, and then return to Earth, where the all-important heat shield will be tested.

It’s the first step toward sending humans back to the moon, first to orbit in Artemis II, and then landing on the moon in Artemis III.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.