NASA Orion capsule heading home

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA‘s Orion capsule completed its final flyby of the Moon on Monday, passing over a pair of Apollo landing sites.

Orion is scheduled to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego this Sunday.

The capsule passed at a distance of 130 kilometers from the far side of the moon.

After emerging from behind the moon and re-establishing contact with flight controllers in Houston, Orion transmitted close-up photographs of the Earth‘s satellite.

“Orion has now targeted the house,” Mission Control commentator Sandra Jones said.

The capsule also passed over the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 landing sites.

But she was too high up to see the descent steps of the lunar landers, or anything else left behind by astronauts more than half a century ago.

The three-week test flight has so far exceeded expectations, officials say.

But the capsule has yet to enter the atmosphere at more than 30 times the speed of sound and survive that fiery reentry.

Orion launched on November 16 during the debut flight of NASA’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System, or SLS.

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