NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission was epic and you can relive it in this highlight video

Relive NASA's epic Artemis 1 moon mission in a highlight reel showing launch to landing. 

The video opens with the previously-unflown Space Launch System flawlessly launching the Orion spacecraft and sending it on to the moon on Nov. 16, demonstrating the first major goal of bringing a human-rated spacecraft to space.

Following launch, the highlight reel then follows Orion on its 25.5-day journey for Artemis 1, demonstrating it could fly in a distant retrograde orbit around the moon and safely come back to Earth again. The video then ends with the final test of re-entry and splashdown on Sunday (Dec. 11), which saw Orion's 11 parachutes open in sequence for soft descent to the Pacific Ocean.

In photos: 10 greatest images from NASA's Artemis 1 mission

The gate-opener mission for the larger Artemis program produced stunning footage throughout its mission, showcasing the Earth and the moon in stunning views. Moonsets, Earthrises and a photobombing spacecraft all featured in live footage that NASA streamed from deep space, making us all feel like astronauts for a month.

While viewers also got to ride along with the Apollo program, the footage of the 1960s and 1970s was largely delivered after the fact. And even for those missions that beamed back footage in color, it certainly wasn't in 4K. Nor were we able to have a "Star Wars" moment with the launch abort system ripping away within view of a video positioned in the cockpit.

Months of analysis on Artemis 1 will follow after NASA secures the spacecraft, which will make its way to Florida by road from San Diego after the U.S. Navy brings it ashore from its Pacific Ocean splashdown site. The lessons learned from this mission will inform Artemis 2, which will bring a crew of astronauts around the moon no earlier than 2024.

The next mission will be a key test of life support systems ahead of Artemis 3, which will bring astronauts down to the moon's surface in 2025 or so. As NASA continues to build out Artemis missions, it will also be creating the Gateway space station to support surface operations from lunar orbit.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, 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 (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. 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