TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Senator Jerry Moran congratulated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Kansas suppliers on the recent return of the Artemis I deep space mission.

Moran took to social media on Monday in reaction to the return of NASA’s unmanned Orion spacecraft after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.

Congratulations to entire team at NASA for the successful splashdown of the Orion spacecraft marking the final leg of the Artemis I mission! The 25-day mission included circling the Moon and setting a record for traveling farther into deep space than any human-rated spacecraft. Returning to Earth after a 1.4 million mile journey, this mission marks a significant milestone in a new era of space exploration. Kansas suppliers helped make the historic Artemis mission a success and will continue to play an important role in future missions.

Sen. Jerry Moran

The spacecraft landed to the west of Baja California at 12:40 p.m. EST on Dec. 11 in what NASA called a record-breaking mission. The craft traveled more than 1.4 million miles on a path around the Moon before returning to Earth.

The splashdown of the Orion spacecraft – which occurred 50 years to the day of the Apollo 17 Moon landing – is the crowning achievement of Artemis I. From the launch of the world’s most powerful rocket to the exceptional journey around the Moon and back to Earth, this flight test is a major step forward in the Artemis Generation of lunar exploration. It wouldn’t be possible without the incredible NASA team. For years, thousands of individuals have poured themselves into this mission, which is inspiring the world to work together to reach untouched cosmic shores. Today is a huge win for NASA, the United States, our international partners, and all of humanity.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

The Artemis I mission will be followed by another flight which NASA reports may come as early as 2024. This mission will attempt to carry four astronauts around the moon while another mission, set for 2025, will feature the first lunar landing by astronauts since the Apollo moon program ended 50 years ago.