NASA’s Artemis I Orion spacecraft returns to Earth

Speaking during the space agency’s broadcast of the Artemis I mission, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called it “an extraordinary day.”

“It’s historic because we are now going back to space, to deep space, with a new generation,” he said, calling it a new era of human spaceflight, “one that marks new technology, a whole new breed of astronauts, and a vision of the future.” The heat shield, one of the key tests of the mission, worked “beautifully,” he said.

The flight clears the way for future missions with astronauts on board. And now NASA’s engineers will study the mission to see what, if anything, they need to improve before putting crews on board.