NASA’s Orion spacecraft has successfully completed Moon flyby
The NASA Orion spacecraft, which was launched in as part of the Artemis-1 mission, successfully completed one of the key maneuvers of its first flight — Moon flyby, during which it approached the lunar surface at a distance of 130 km, reports Engadget.
On its way to the Moon, Orion made four trajectory adjustments, but this time the Orbital Maneuvering System engine ran for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This accelerated the ship to a speed of more than 930 km/h.
The mid-flight engine firing was one of two maneuvers required for Orion to enter retrograde orbit around the Moon, which is scheduled for Friday at 4:52 p.m. ET (11:52 p.m. Kyiv time). The spacecraft will remain in this orbit for about a week to test various systems, including guidance, navigation, communication, power supply and temperature control systems. It should be noted that Orion will pass the retrograde orbit of the Moon at a distance of 64,000 km. The spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on December 11.
NASA will reveal more details about the engine’s performance during the flight and provide an update on post-launch evaluations of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and ground research systems (including the launch tower) at a press conference on Monday.