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The Apollo program spacecrafts were put on a free return trajectory after during the TLI maneuver. Does Artemis mission also put crafts on a free return trajectory? If no, what are the redundancy measures included that were not present in the Apollo program?

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The Apollo program spacecrafts were put on a free return trajectory after during the TLI maneuver.

Not after Apollo 11. The only Apollo missions that were launched into a free return trajectory (I'm including TLI as part of launch) were Apollo 8, 10, and 11. While Apollo 13 was not launched into a free return trajectory, it was placed on one after after the incident.

Does Artemis mission also put crafts on a free return trajectory?

No. The target for the Artemis missions is either a distant retrograde orbit about the Moon or an Earth-Moon near rectilinear halo orbit. If something goes very wrong early on, the vehicle can be placed onto a free return trajectory as opposed to a trajectory that takes the vehicle close to the target orbit. If something goes very wrong later on, the vehicle can use the Moon as a gravitational slingshot. You can call this free return if you wish, but it will take propellant to do so, which contradicts the notion of "free return".

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, didn't know free return trajectory was used only till apollo 11. $\endgroup$
    – Ashvin
    Nov 16, 2022 at 14:44

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