Around ten days after launch, the "Orion" capsule of NASA's "Artemis 1" moon mission swung into orbit around the moon.
The unmanned capsule fired its engines as planned during its test flight on Friday and swung into orbit, the US space agency Nasa said.
The orbit is about 8000 kilometers from the surface of the moon, which is why "Orion" needs six days for half an orbit. The capsule will fly around the moon in a direction opposite to that in which the moon orbits the earth. According to Nasa, this orbit has the advantage that it is very stable and "Orion" consumes comparatively little fuel on it.
After months of postponement, the "Artemis 1" mission set off on a first test launch on November 16 (local time). The "Orion" capsule was launched with the "Space Launch System" rocket from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome in the US state of Florida. A few days ago, it had approached the moon as close as it was planned to be during the entire test mission - at around 130 kilometers.
The unmanned capsule is said to be on the road for around two weeks before it is expected to return to earth on December 11 after around two million kilometers of flight.
The mission has not been under a good star so far: after delays and exploding costs in development and construction, the start of the test had to be postponed several times. With the "Artemis" program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, US astronauts are supposed to land on the moon again in the coming years, including a woman and a non-white person for the first time.