NASA's Orion Does Moon Flyby

NASA's Orion spacecraft made a close flyby with the Moon on Monday after its history-making launch last week.

The uncrewed capsule populated with three test dummies is a pathfinder for NASA as the space agency works to one day send people back to the surface of the Moon for the first time since the final Apollo landing in 1972.

Orion passed just 81 miles above the Moon after an engine burn required for the capsule to get into orbit around the natural satellite this week.

The spacecraft performed the burn when it was passing over the far side of the Moon, leaving mission managers waiting for confirmation that it was successful until it passed back into sight of the Earth.

One day, NASA hopes to use Orion, SLS and other pieces of key technology like a Moon lander built by SpaceX to send astronauts back to the lunar surface. That first lunar landing could launch as soon as 2025.

This Orion and SLS mission, called Artemis I, is expected to test out much of the technology needed to perform that landing, working out the kinks before putting people onboard for the first time for Artemis II, which will see astronauts orbit the Moon before coming back to Earth.

Source: Axios