In order to pass within 130 kilometres of the lunar surface as part of the unmanned Artemis I mission, NASA’s Orion spacecraft successfully completed its first Moon flyby.
According to NASA, Orion finished its fourth orbital trajectory correction burn using the auxiliary engines on the sixth day of the Artemis I mission, ahead of the first of two manoeuvres needed to enter a far-off retrograde orbit around the Moon.
On November 21, the Orion spacecraft made the Moon’s closest approach, according to a statement from the US space agency on Tuesday.
According to Mike Sarafin, the Artemis I mission manager, “the mission is continuing to go as planned, and the ground systems, our operations teams, and the Orion spacecraft continue to exceed expectations. We continue to learn as we go about this new, deep-space spacecraft.”
Artemis I will provide a foundation for human exploration in deep space and demonstrate NASA’s commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.