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NASA held an Artemis I mission status briefing Monday to preview Orion’s distant retrograde orbit departure on Dec. 1 and recovery assets preparations for Dec. 11 splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
Watch the event in the player above.
On Monday, Orion reached its maximum distance from the Earth. The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4 billion demo that’s meant to pave the way for astronauts. It will remain in this broad but stable orbit for nearly a week, completing just half a lap before heading home.
WATCH: NASA’s Artemis rocket finally lifts off after political, financial, technical delays
As of Friday’s engine firing, the capsule was 238,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) from Earth. It’s expected to reach a maximum distance of almost 270,000 miles (432,000 kilometers) in a few days. That will set a new distance record for a capsule designed to carry people one day
NASA considers this a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronauts. A lunar landing by astronauts could follow as soon as 2025. Astronauts last visited the moon 50 years ago during Apollo 17.
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