US space agency NASA's Orion capsule has entered a panoramic orbit extending thousands of miles around the Moon. The capsule and the three test dummies it carried entered lunar orbit more than a week after launch. It will remain in this vast but stable orbit for about a week. It was 2,38,000 miles (3,80,000 km) away from Earth as of Friday and is expected to reach a maximum distance of about 2,70,000 miles (4,32,000 km) in the next few days.
This will create a new record for the distance covered by a capsule designed to carry people. "The goal is to challenge ourselves to go further, to last longer, and to push the limits of what we've discovered before," said Orion manager Jim Jeffries. Fifty years after NASA's Apollo program This is the first time since a capsule has reached the Moon and the $4 billion test flight is significant. The capsule lifted from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 16 atop NASA's most powerful rocket ever. If this mission is successful, NASA will execute the task of sending astronauts around the moon in 2024. After this, NASA will try to land a vehicle near the south pole of the Moon in 2025.