NASA spacecraft snaps a selfie of itself ahead of trip close to Moon’s surface

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    NASA's Orion spacecraft has snapped a stunning high-resolution selfie 270,000 miles away while zooming past the Moon.

    On the third day into the Artemis I mission on Friday, November 18, the photograph was captured during a routine inspection of the spacecraft.

    'NASA' in large red lettering, the US flag and the famous Nasa logo are visible on the metal exterior of the intrepid craft.

    READ MORE: Humans will live on the Moon full-time within a decade, says NASA official

    The organisation said Orion will make its closest approach to the lunar surface – approximately 80 miles – at 7.57am ET, or 12:44 GMT.

    Hours after that post on Twitter today, November 21, NASA added that the spacecraft will soon break the record for the farthest distance travelled from Earth by any spacecraft designed to carry people, a record set during the Apollo era.

    After a series of failed attempts earlier in the year, Artemis 1 launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Wednesday.

    The uncrewed mission around the Moon will pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration.

    The Artemis is carrying the Orion lunar spacecraft which is manned with a manikin.

    This is a model of the human body used to measure the impacts of flight on the body.

    Howard Hu, the Orion programme manager, said the launch was a "historic day" for human space flight.

    "It's the first step we're taking to long-term deep space exploration, for not just the United States but for the world," he told the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.

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    "I think this is an historic day for NASA, but it's also an historic day for all the people who love human space flight and deep space exploration.

    "I mean, we are going back to the Moon.

    "We're working towards a sustainable programme and this is the vehicle that will carry the people that will land us back on the Moon again."

    The Artemis programme will see the construction of the Lunar Gateway.

    This is a new space station where astronauts will be able to live and work.

    Mr Hu explained the gateway would act as an orbiting platform which would be a staging post for lunar missions.

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