NASA’s Orion capsule enters far-flung orbit around moon

Photo Credit: NASA CC ( Fair Use)

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.