Dec 10, 2022

Orion Skip Maneuver

Posted by in category: space travel

Ever skip stones across a pond? Imagine doing it with a spacecraft.

When NASA’s Orion returns to Earth on Dec. 11 at the end of the Artemis I mission, it will attempt a guidance and control maneuver called a skip-entry – the first time a skip entry maneuver will be attempted for a human spacecraft.

While it’s not a perfect analogy, Orion will mimic a stone skipping across a pond by dipping into the Earth’s atmosphere, skipping out, then re-entering. Performed by the crew module, this maneuver gives Orion more space to travel before splashing down, allowing it to be more precise with where it lands.

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