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Making a Splash with Artemis II Recovery Training


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      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      When NASA sends astronauts to the South Pole region of the Moon for the first time with its Artemis campaign, they will capture photos with a handheld camera to help advance scientific research and discovery for the benefit of all. NASA and Nikon Inc. recently signed a Space Act Agreement that outlines how they will work together to develop a handheld camera that can operate in the harsh lunar environment for use beginning with Artemis III. 
      Photographing the lunar South Pole region requires a modern camera with specialized capabilities to manage the extreme lighting conditions and temperatures unique to the area. The agreement enables NASA to have a space-rated camera ready for use on the lunar surface without needing to develop one from scratch. 
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      The camera will be the first mirrorless handheld camera used on the Moon, designed for capturing imagery in low-light environments. Prior to Artemis missions, the camera will be used at the International Space Station to demonstrate its capabilities. 
      For over 50 years, NASA has used a variety of cameras in space, including the cameras crewmembers currently use at the International Space Station to take photos of science experiments, day-to-day operations, and during spacewalks while they orbit about 250 miles above Earth. 
      NASA astronaut Jessica Wittner uses an early design of the Artemis lunar camera to take photos during planetary geological field training in Lanzarote, Spain.European Space Agency / A. Romero During the Apollo program, crewmembers took over 18,000 photos using modified large-format, handheld cameras. However, those cameras didn’t have viewfinders, so astronauts were trained to aim the camera from chest-level where it attached to the front of the spacesuit. In addition, Apollo crewmembers had to use separate cameras for photos and video. The new lunar camera will have a viewfinder and video capabilities to capture both still imagery and video on a single device. 
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      Through NASA’s Artemis campaign, the agency will land the first woman, the first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone to send the first astronauts to Mars. 
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    • By NASA
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      On the day of the crew’s return to Earth, a Navy ship with specially trained personnel will await splashdown and then approach the Orion capsule to help extract the four astronauts. An inflatable raft, called the front porch, will provide a place for them to rest when they exit the capsule before they are then individually hoisted by helicopters and flown to the waiting ship. 
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      NASA/Isaac Watson Members of NASA’s Exploration Ground System’s Landing and Recovery team work to secure the Crew Module Test Article and align it on its stand inside the ship’s well deck in this image from Feb. 22, 2024. Underway Recovery Test 11 is the eleventh in a series of Artemis recovery tests, and the first time NASA and its partners put their Artemis II recovery procedures to the test with the astronauts.
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      Artemis II is the first crewed mission under NASA’s Artemis campaign and will test the agency’s Orion spacecraft life support systems needed for future lunar missions.
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    • By NASA
      Naval helicopters fly over a test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and personnel involved in training activities in the Pacific Ocean in July 2023, in preparation for Artemis II. Teams from NASA, including the Artemis II crew, and the Department of Defense are training this month off the coast of San Diego to prepare to recover the astronauts and Orion when they return to Earth. Credits: NASA/Kenny Allen Media are invited to speak with the four Artemis II astronauts on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Naval Base San Diego in California. The crew will fly around the Moon next year as part of NASA’s Artemis campaign, marking the first astronauts to make the journey in more than 50 years.
      NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense are conducting training with the crew in the Pacific Ocean to demonstrate the procedures and hardware needed to retrieve NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen after their approximately 10-day, 685,000-mile journey beyond the lunar far side and back.
      The flight is the first crewed mission under NASA’s Artemis campaign and will test the agency’s Orion spacecraft life support systems needed for future lunar missions.
      Attendees will be able to view hardware associated with the training, including a test version of Orion aboard the USS San Diego, and speak with other personnel from the agency and the Defense Department who are responsible for bringing the crew and the capsule to safety after the mission.
      Media interested in attending must RSVP by 4 p.m. PST, Monday, Feb. 26, to Naval Base San Diego Public Affairs at nbsd.pao@us.navy.mil or 619-556-7359. The exact time of the planned afternoon Feb. 28 event is subject to the conclusion of testing activities.
      Under Artemis, NASA will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all. 
      For more about NASA’s Artemis II mission, visit:
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      -end-
      Rachel Kraft
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov
      Madison Tuttle
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-298-5868
      madison.e.tuttle@nasa.gov
      Courtney Beasley
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      courtney.m.beasley@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Feb 22, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
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