Splashdown! Artemis 1 Orion capsule returns safely to Earth

Published On: December 16 2022

It’s been a nail-biting 25 days for NASA, but the Orion capsule landed safely in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego at 06:47 GMT on 11th December. Designed as a test for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion capsule flew by the Moon twice, passing at one point at just 130kms above the lunar surface. The whole mission is captured in this neat video from the European Space Agency (ESA).

Powered by Europe

Initially powered by the 33 engines of the European Service Module, Orion’s journey was also a test run for taking astronauts back to the Moon. As the ESA commented in their notes to the video above:

“Future European Service Modules will provide electricity, propulsion and cabin thermal control for astronauts on lunar missions as well as breathable atmosphere and drinking water.”


From start to finish

Here at The Load cell Shop, we’ve been following the progress of the Artemis 1 project and noting the important roles load cells have played in getting the mission off the ground (and back again!).

Ready to assemble (almost): NASA’s Artemis 1 and load cells

Even played the stacking cups game with your kids? NASA’s assembly of their new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket follows much the same principles, only with a lot more tech and some load cells too.

Fly me to the moon: Artemis I launch date set

Before the NASA Artemis 1 mission rocket can blast into space, it first has to travel four miles on the massive crawler-transporter. We reckon load cells must be playing a crucial role to keep that rocket steady, level and wobble-free!

Load cells and space rockets: we finally have lift-off!

After months of delays, NASA’S Artemis 1 rocket has launched the Orion capsule into space. We’ve been following the development of the Space Launch System and the role played at every stage by the humble load cell.


Other NASA load cell stories

We love NASA – great info, fab images, and always a sense of excitement!

Letting you down gently: load cells and parachute testing

From 25,000mph to just 17mph; how NASA test the parachutes that bring space crew safely back to Earth with a remarkably gentle bump.

Load cells and NASA: a match made in heaven

Four fascinating ways to use load cells for testing and training, courtesy of NASA. We love this stuff!

Poppy seeds, lunar rovers and load cells

How NASA are using load cells to help lunar rovers swim, launch pads to shake, diggers to excavate lunar soils, and a standard power drill to convert ice to water on Mars.


Load cells for your next project

OK, we appreciate you might not have NASA’s budget. That’s why our UK manufactured load cells are great quality, good value and quick to ship too. Check out our online load cell shop or contact us with your requirements.