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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Breaks Apollo 13 Record For Further Distance From Earth

The uncrewed Orion capsule, the centerpiece of NASA’s historic Artemis I mission, reached its farthest distance from Earth on Monday, breaking the record for the maximum distance a spacecraft developed to carry humans has ever traveled.

The space agency tweeted that Orion reached its maximum distance from Earth of 268,563, adding the uncrewed capsule “has now traveled farther than any other spacecraft built for humans.” 

On Saturday, Orion broke the record-setting distance of 248,655 miles from Earth, achieved by the Apollo 13 crewed command module over a half-century ago. 

Orion is set to fire its engines on Thursday and head back to Earth with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California on December 11.

If all goes well for the pivotal mission, then the Artemis II mission could fly astronauts around the moon in 2024. By 2025, astronauts could return to the lunar surface via the Artemis III mission. 

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