NASA successfully maneuvers Orion into its target orbit around Moon -

8 February, Wednesday

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NASA successfully maneuvers Orion into its target orbit around Moon

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The uncrewed Orion capsule has reached its ultimate destination, a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon, Ednews reports citing Gizmodo.

The spacecraft successfully executed a short trajectory correction burn earlier today.

The intended distant retrograde orbit (DRO) is called “distant” because Orion will travel some 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the Moon before it treks back. It’s a gigantic orbit, so gigantic, in fact, that “it will take the spacecraft six days to complete half of a revolution around the Moon before exiting the orbit for the return journey back to Earth,” according to NASA.

The “retrograde” aspect of the orbit means that the capsule will orbit around our natural satellite opposite to the direction the Moon travels around Earth.

Orion must pull off today’s orbital insertion and then pull off an exit maneuver on December 1 to escape the Moon’s gravitational clutches. The act of leaving distant retrograde orbit will require Orion to perform another lunar flyby. Orion is expected to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

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