Science and Exploration

Orion Begins Its Journey Home

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 5, 2022
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Orion Begins Its Journey Home
The Moon and distant Earth as seen by Orion on its return home.

On Monday, Dec. 5, Orion made its closest approach to the Moon, flying 79.2 miles above the lunar surface.

It performed the return powered flyby burn at 10:43 a.m. CST, which lasted about 3 minutes and 27 seconds, changing the velocity of the spacecraft by approximately 655 mph (961 feet per second).

The return powered flyby is the last large maneuver of the mission, with only smaller trajectory corrections to target Earth remaining.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.