# Will astronauts on the Lunar Gateway beat the record Apollo 13 set for furthest distance from Earth?

This questiom states that the distance was 400038km with a lunar altitude of 254 km. As gateway will have a max. 70,000 km distance from the lunar south pole, it may break the record. However, because it is in a NRHO, and there will only be astronauts onboard for short periods of time, the maximum distance may be less. Can anyone find an answer?

## 1 Answer

Whether or not this does happen, that's a trivial and fleeting milestone. Apollo 13 was not known for that trivial milestone. It was known for being a massive failure that was turned into a non-failure.

The answer to your question will depend on when the astronauts launch and return. The will spend about 5 days traveling to the Moon, 5 days traveling from the Moon, and 11 days in NRHO (or transit from / to the Moon). That's about a third of a month. The launch date is not known. If that third of a month happens to occur around lunar perigee, they might or might not break the Apollo 13 record.

The intent of Artemis II is not to break a trivial Apollo 13 milestone. It is to show that Artemis III will likely be a viable mission. In turn, the goal of Artemis III is not to set the distance record that humans traveled from the Earth. The goal is to spend more time on the Moon than did any previous mission to the Moon. Missions beyond Artemis III will spend even more time on the Moon, with the goal of eventually having a permanent presence, with a long-term goal of learning how to go to Mars.

That trivial Apollo 13 milestone will of course be broken by a trip to Mars (and back). The more important lesson-learned from Apollo 13 was how to recover from a very serious, life-threatening failure, and that will live on. There might well be serious failures on the journey to Mars, stay on Mars, or return from Mars.

• -1 I don't think it's necessary to devote the vast majority of your answer to ridiculing the motivation behind a perfectly reasonable question, and then actually answer the question with a shrug. Please explain how the Gateway orbit will depend on the departure of Artemis III & how the margin is so narrow that whether or not it will surpass the distance Apollo 13 record is a question of timing. Right now, there's no backing to your claim that it will depend on the launch/return timing. Dec 18, 2022 at 16:18
• @Cornelis I have reverted your edit. If the Artemis II launch places the third of a month where the portion of the NRHO will occur around lunar apogee the odds are extremely good that Artemis II will almost certainly exceed the Apollo 13 record. It's whether launch places the portion of the NRHO orbit near lunar perigee that makes breaking that record potentially dubious. Dec 18, 2022 at 18:43
• O.k., sorry, but regarding the question, I thought the apogee should be mentioned. Dec 19, 2022 at 10:42