Half orbit in six days: "Orion" capsule orbits the moon

NASA wants to send astronauts to the moon again in the next few years.

Half orbit in six days: "Orion" capsule orbits the moon

NASA wants to send astronauts to the moon again in the next few years. First, however, the unmanned space capsule "Orion" will orbit the moon for a few weeks. It has now reached orbit.

Around ten days after launch, the "Orion" capsule of NASA's "Artemis 1" moon mission has arrived in orbit around the moon. The unmanned capsule fired its engines as planned during its test flight and swung into orbit, the US space agency NASA said. The orbit is about 80.00 kilometers from the surface of the moon, which is why "Orion" needs six days for half an orbit.

The capsule will fly around the moon in the opposite direction to that in which the moon orbits the earth. According to NASA, this orbit has the advantage that it is very stable and "Orion" consumes comparatively little fuel on it. After months of postponement, the "Artemis 1" mission set off on a first test launch on November 16th. The "Orion" capsule was launched with the "Space Launch System" rocket from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome in the US state of Florida. A few days ago she had approached the moon to about 130 kilometers. She shouldn't come that close to Earth's satellite again on her test mission.

The unmanned capsule is said to be on the road for around two weeks before it is expected to return to earth on December 11 after around two million kilometers of flight. The mission has not been under a good star so far: after delays and exploding costs in development and construction, the start of the test had to be postponed several times. With the "Artemis" program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, US astronauts are supposed to land on the moon again in the coming years, including a woman and a non-white person for the first time.

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