NASA’s Orion spacecraft is expected to fly over the moon by next Monday, to reach the closest possible point to the moon’s surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit.

And “NASA” stated that the entry of “Orion” into the field of lunar influence, will make the moon, instead of the Earth, the main gravitational force affecting the spacecraft, reports a local Arabic daily quoting Xinhua.

Flight controllers will fan a powered atmospheric blaze outside, harnessing the moon’s gravitational pull, accelerating the spacecraft, and guiding it into a far retrograde orbit outside the moon.

During the powered flyby, Orion will reach the closest possible point, which is approximately 128 kilometers (80 miles), above the surface of the moon, according to NASA.

Four days later, another fire using the European Service Module will send the Orion spacecraft into a distant retrograde orbit, where it will stay for a week to test the spacecraft’s systems.

The unmanned Orion spacecraft and NASA’s Space Launch System launched in its first flight test early Wednesday from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Following the launch, Orion headed toward the moon on the first mission of NASA’s Artemis program.

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