SAN DIEGO – After flying to the moon and splashing off the coast of Baja California, the Artemis 1 Orion space capsule has arrived in San Diego.
As of Tuesday, the 18,000-pound capsule is docked at Naval Base San Diego and will be there until Wednesday. Those who were involved in the capsule’s recovery say it’s “mission accomplished.”
“This capsule just spent 25 1/2 days on a mission to the Moon and now we’re standing 15 feet away from it,” said Madison Truttle, a member of NASA’s public affairs department.
Truttle said the capsule fared well when it came to space’s obstacles.
“This capsule had to come back in temperatures over 5,000 Fahrenheit and for future Artemis missions there’s going to be astronauts on board,” Truttle explained. “This is a great test for us to make sure that next time when we fly astronauts they are going to have a safe and successful mission as well.“
There were several agencies involved in the recovery of NASA’s newest space transportation vehicle on Sunday, when the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Some of the Navy divers described their excitement of being part of this recovery process to FOX 5.
“It was exhilarating rolling up onto the capsule as it was coming out of the sky with my team and I,” said Nicolas Arpaia, Navy Diver Second Class of the capsule recovery team.
“The first moment was probably the big sonic boom we heard and we’re like ‘oh man this it!’ and you see the parachutes deploy and we get on our boats full throttle heading over to it,” explained Wayne shearer, Navy Diver First Class of the capsule recovery team “And then it was just like clockwork, we train for a year and a half and everything just went ‘bam bam bam.’ It was super smooth. The sea (conditions) were a little rough, but nothing we didn’t plan for.”
“My team has gone through rigorous amounts of training for this and it was finally great to see it come down,” said Ryan Crider, master diver and waterfront superior of the capsule recovery team. “And we actually get to put all of our training to use and we got to get it home safe.”
Once the Orion is offloaded on Wednesday, it will spend a couple of days on the base. It will then be secured in a shipping container ready for ground transportation to head back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.