Central Oregon DailyNASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Orion capsule has reached the moon, whipping around the far side and passing within about 80 miles.

The close approach occurred Monday as the crew capsule and its three test dummies were on the far side of the moon.

Because of the communication blackout, flight controllers in Houston did not know if the critical engine firing went well until the capsule emerged from behind the moon.

It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since the Apollo program 50 years ago. Orion blasted off last Wednesday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on a three-week flight.

RELATED: WATCH: NASA’s mightiest moon rocket lifts off 50 years after Apollo

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