Orion enters distant retrograde orbit around moon

Spacecraft will take 6 days to complete half of a revolution before returning to Earth

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Orion, which launched into space atop NASA’s mega rocket over a week ago, entered into distant retrograde around the moon Friday afternoon.

According to NASA, the spacecraft, which is a part of the Artemis I mission, entered into the retrograde “at a high altitude approximately 50,000 miles from the surface of the Moon.”

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The distant retrograde orbit insertion burn took place at 4:52 p.m. and concluded about a minute after.

It will take Orion about six days to complete half of the revolution before making the journey back to Earth, space officials said in a blog.

This comes after Orion successfully flew by the moon Monday, marking the first time a space capsule has done that in 50 years. During the flyby, it made its closet approach of about 80 miles from the surface of the moon.

The space agency said as of 2:42 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving, Orion was traveling 222,993 miles from Earth and 55,819 miles from the moon at 2,610 miles per hour.

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