NASA succeeds in putting the Orion space capsule into orbit around the Moon, surpassing the distance of Apollo 13

HOUSTON (CPSSF) – NASA engineers can exhale now.

Mission controllers with the Artemis program have just concluded a crucial maneuver to place the Orion space capsule into a record-breaking lunar orbit. It will now overtake Apollo 13 to become the furthest capable humanoid craft ever launched from Earth.

“The goal here is to test the technologies and procedures — and spacecraft — that NASA wants to use to restart human exploration of the Moon,” says Bill Harwood, CBS News Space Consultant. “They want to run it in deep space, so they can really put it through the wringer.”

Except, in this case, there are no humans on board. That will come later.

“The key here is for us to have a successful mission so we can start looking forward to being able to take astronauts to the Moon,” says NASA’s Jacob Bleicher.

As for when that might happen? NASA is optimistic it will be closer than you think.

“Late 2025 is what we’re aiming for for Artemis-3 to land our astronauts on the moon,” Bleicher says, adding that he sees that target date as “likely.”

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