The Orion capsule has reached distant retrograde orbit (Dro), an orbit in which the vehicle moves around the Moon in the opposite direction to that in which the Moon moves around the Earth, and which is nearly 80,500 kilometers from the lunar surface.
It is a new important stage of NASA's Artemis 1 mission, the forerunner of the return to the Moon.
The capsule reached this distant orbit by turning on the engine for 88 seconds, thanks to the European Service Module, created by the European Space Agency (ESA) and with the contribution of Italy through the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and industry .
In this very wide and elliptical orbit, between 69,000 and 86,000 kilometers from the lunar surface, Orion will remain for the next six days.
During this period the vehicle will continue the series of tests for the navigation instrument which measures the positions of the stars and helps the vehicle to orientate itself correctly.
Six days is the time it will take for the vehicle to cover half of the orbit, up to the point where it will have to carry out the maneuver that will bring it closer to the Moon on December 1st to begin its return journey to the Earth.
where the return is scheduled for December 11 with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of California.
The service module is instead intended to burn on impact with the atmosphere.