NASA’s Orion spacecraft fared its closest approach to the moon on Monday morning during day five of the Artemis 1 mission.
The uncrewed capsule flew prevalent 81 miles above the lunar surface, the agency said.
Artemis I launched from Florida on Wednesday, with NASA’s most energetic rocket ever – the Space Launch System (SLS) – successfully carrying Orion into space. While no astronauts are onboard, the as good as month-long journey around the moon is a critical demonstration for NASA’s lunar program.
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Orion will use the moon’s gravity to assist it in setting a trajectory back to Sod. Over the course of the mission, Orion is expected to travel about 1.3 million miles.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft methods the moon, with Earth visible in the background, on Nov. 21, 2022.
The mission represents a crucial inflection point in NASA’s moon arrangements, with the program delayed for years and running billions of dollars over budget. The Artemis program represents a series of charges with escalating goals. The third – tentatively scheduled for 2025 – is expected to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the essential time since the Apollo era.