NASA’s Artemis I spacecraft, Orion, is gearing up for an outbound powered lunar flyby on Monday, November 21, when the spacecraft will pass within 80 miles (130 km) of the lunar surface.
Orion is en route to the moon as the first mission of the Artemis program. The unmanned spacecraft launched Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from Launch Facility 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Orion’s outbound powered flyby will begin at 7:44 a.m. and the closest approach to the moon will begin at 7:57 a.m., according to the agency. Moon. DRO provides a very stable orbit and requires very little fuel for long trips in deep space to test Orion’s systems in environments far from Earth.
Mission engineers expect to lose contact with Orion as it passes behind the Moon from 7:26 a.m. for approximately 34 minutes.
— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) November 21, 2022
At 1:25 PM on November 20th, Orion traveled 232,683 miles from Earth and cruised 39,501 miles from the Moon at a speed of 371 miles per hour.
The spacecraft will perform a far retrograde orbit insertion burn using the European Service Module on November 25 and will remain in this orbit for about a week to test the spacecraft systems.
Orion successfully performed an outward powered flyby burn at 7:44 a.m. ET, then reacquired the signal with NASA’s Deep Space Network at 7:59 a.m. ET. According to NASA, the spacecraft was more than 230,000 miles away from Earth at the time of the lunar flyby.