The Orion spacecraft placed in lunar orbit

This new capsule was supposed to take astronauts to the Moon in the next few years.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft moved into distant lunar orbit Friday, the tenth day of the Artemis 1 mission, the US Space Agency said Friday. “During this lunar orbit, flight controllers will monitor critical (Orion) systems and perform checks related to the deep space environment.” the agency said in a blog post.

This new capsule, which should take astronauts to the Moon in the coming years – the first to set foot on its surface since the last Apollo mission in 1972 – is currently traveling more than 40,000 miles from the Moon. At this distance, it would take no less than six days to cover half a lunar orbit before beginning the return journey to Earth.

This first test flight of the Orion spacecraft, without a crew on board, will be used to ensure the vehicle is safe. The landing in the Pacific Ocean is planned for December 11 after a good 25 days of flight.

The success of this mission depends on the future of Artemis 2, which will take astronauts around the Moon without landing, then Artemis 3, which will finally mark the return of humans to the lunar surface. These missions are officially scheduled to take place in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

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