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NASA’s Orion Capsule Will Plummet Into San Diego Waters This Sunday

UPDATE 12/9/22: According to the NASA website, the Orion capsule will no longer be splashing down off the coast of San Diego on Sunday, December 11. It is now expected to land west of Baja California near Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean. Weather conditions in southern California prompted the change in plans.

The Orion Capsule from Artemis I is headed to San Diego on Sunday. The capsule will splash down about 60 miles off the coast of San Diego at approximately 9:40 AM.

The return of Artemis I on Sunday, December 11th comes exactly 50 years after the last Moon mission, Apollo 17, landed on the lunar surface in 1972.

NBC 7 San Diego says a recovery team made up of NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) engineers and technicians and Navy divers and sailors from the USS Portland have been in San Diego since the end of November.

The team practiced for three days off the coast to reel in a mock capsule and load it onto the ship, an amphibious vessel with both a flight deck and a well deck leading to the ocean.

After rigging a series of cables and hooks to the vessel, the winch pulls Orion into a yellow cradle within the ship's well deck.

Water is then released back to sea and a secure Orion is transported to shore.

The Artemis I Mission is the first phase of the program and does not have a crew on board.

Artemis II will have astronauts orbit the Moon in 2024, and Artemis III will land on the lunar surface.

For more information about NASA's Artemis program, visit

To see a simulation of where the Orion capsule is right now, visit

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