“Nasa’s Orion spacecraft reached the Moon’s orbit on Monday, flying over Tranquility Base where Neil Armstrong walked 53 years ago.
The Artemis mission launched its test flight last Wednesday, the first time an astronaut-class spacecraft has ventured into lunar orbit since the Apollo programme was cancelled.
The spacecraft, which is powered by an old space shuttle engine, needed to make a precise two-minute burn on the dark side of the Moon so it could enter retrograde orbit, where it will remain for six days.
Retrograde orbit means it will be travelling in the opposite direction to the anticlockwise direction that the Moon spins around the Earth. At closest approach it flew within 81 miles of the lunar surface.
Nasa lost the signal from Orion for 34 minutes as it swept behind the satellite, with mission controllers facing an anxious wait to find out if the manoeuvre had been successful.”