Following its long-awaited take off on November 16, NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which is part of the Artemis I Rocket, has completed a lunar flyby. The flyby is one of two maneuver’s necessary for the rocket to enter the distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, according to NASA.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, a distant retrograde orbit means that the spacecraft is positioned at a high altitude from the moon and traveling in the opposite direction that the Moon travels around Earth. Scientists opt for a DRO because the gravitational pull between Earth and the Moon allows for stability, allowing the spacecraft to stay on course and decreasing the amount of fuel it needs to operate.
Orion passed the Moon at approximately 7:59 A.M. EST this morning. The spacecraft was situated about 81 miles (130 km) above the Moon and traveling at a speed of 5,102 MPH (8,211 KM/H).
The next phase of the mission will take place on Friday when the spacecraft inserts itself into distant retrograde orbit. It’ll stay there for about a week so that scientists can test out spacecraft systems before beginning its journey back to Earth.
In other tech news, Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump on Twitter.
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