You can watch our planet and our moon glide by a real-life spacecraft in live footage.
NASA is streaming incredible video views from Artemis 1 right now courtesy of the Orion spacecraft, which is nearing 270,000 miles (435,000 kilometers) from Earth today (Nov. 28). Orion is flying in a distant retrograde lunar orbit, meaning it is far from the moon and orbiting opposite to the moon's path around the Earth.
The epic views aren't only about space inspiration. The videos and photos from the mission will also inform future ventures of the Artemis program. NASA wants to make sure the spacecraft is ready to fly humans for future moon missions, with the two next in line expected to be Artemis 2 looping around the moon in 2024 or so, and Artemis 3 setting people upon the surface in 2025 or 2026.
The new footage is the highest-definition live view from beyond the moon to date, although many Apollo program missions have broadcast from that region in the 1960s and 1970s.
Perhaps the most famous example was a Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 on Dec. 24, 1968, which showcased black-and-white footage of the moon as NASA astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders became the first humans to circle the moon.
Numerous science spacecraft have captured Earth from even further afield, although those views were not broadcast live. An oft-cited example is the "pale blue dot" image (named after a quote from Carl Sagan) taken by NASA's Voyager 1 probe in 1990. Voyager 1 was above the plane of the solar system and beyond planet Neptune when it took the picture.
Orion is set to return to Earth on Dec. 11 with a splashdown off the coast of California, in the Pacific Ocean, assuming that all milestones continue to go to plan.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace