Watch NASA’s Orion Capsule Slam Into the Atmosphere at the Speed of Sound

NASA’s Artemis mission will put humanity back on the moon (we hope).

When and if it does, the humans on board will be in for an intense return trip through Earth’s atmosphere.

Just watch the footage of the mission’s unpiloted Orion capsule punching back through the envelope. It did so a year ago — at 11 kilometers per second, which is faster than the speed of sound. The video has just recently been released.

Majestic, colorful, frightening — the clip’s got it all. Sound on.

We already know what you’re thinking. Here are the answers:

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson spent his 20s as an adventure rock climber, scampering throughout the western U.S., Mexico, and Thailand to scope out prime stone and great stories. Life on the road gradually transformed into a seat behind the keyboard, where he acted as a founding writer of the AllGear Digital Newsroom and earned 1,500+ bylines in four years on topics from pro rock climbing to slingshots and scientific breakthroughs.