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Experience the vast gloom of space with NASA’s new moon photos

NASA has released stunning new close-up photos of the moon, courtesy of the Orion spacecraft.

Orion passed just 81.1 miles above the lunar surface on Monday, then headed for the far side of the moon – which we usually can’t see from Earth.

The spacecraft has been continuing its cosmic journey since Nov. 16, when it was launched atop the Space Launch System rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The Artemis I mission has finally taken off after years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns. NASA is working towards getting astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo program 50 years ago.

The capsule is expected to enter a “distant retrograde orbit” around the Moon on Friday. The “distant” means it is very high from the surface of the moon – about 50,000 miles. Orion will then continue to circle the moon for a week and is expected to crash land off the California coast on December 11.

If all goes well with this mission, it will break the Apollo 13 record for the longest distance traveled by a spacecraft designed for humans, according to New Scientist magazine.



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