NASA’s Orion capsule entered an orbit that stretched tens of thousands of miles around the moon on Friday, as it approached the halfway mark of its test flight mission.
- ASSOCIATED PRESS – As of Friday’s engine firing, the capsule was 238,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) from Earth. It’s expected to reach a maximum distance of almost 270,000 miles (432,000 kilometers) in a few days. That will set a new distance record for a capsule designed to carry people one day.
- FOX NEWS – The capsule is expected to travel 1.3 million miles before splashing down off the coast of Baja, California on Dec. 11.
- NBC NEWS – It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, and represented a huge milestone in the $4.1 billion test flight that began last Wednesday. Orion’s flight path took it over the landing sites of Apollo 11, 12 and 14 — humanity’s first three lunar touchdowns.
- THE HILL – NASA considers this a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronauts. A lunar landing by astronauts could follow as soon as 2025. Astronauts last visited the moon 50 years ago during Apollo 17.