Orion spacecraft will make its closest approach to the Moon within the limits of NASA's unmanned mission Artemis 1: At 07:44 Eastern Standard Time (16:44 Yerevan time) the craft will approach the Moon and in 13 minutes will be about 130 km away from the satellite's surface.
You can watch this event online right here:
According to NASA, the ship will orbit the moon and for 34 minutes, while it will be behind the moon, communication with the Earth will be lost. Engineers expect communication between the craft and NASA's Deep Space Network's Goldstone ground station to be restored once Orion emerges from behind the moon.
If all goes as planned, the Orion spacecraft will land in the Pacific Ocean near the U.S. state of California on December 11.
Orion was launched November 16 on a superheavy SLS carrier rocket. As part of the mission Artemis 1 Orion will have to make a 25-day flight to the moon, make two turns and return to Earth.
There are several unexpected and interesting items aboard the spacecraft, including three dummies that are equipped with 5,600 sensors to measure radiation levels. The data obtained from these sensors will allow experts to understand how dangerous such flights are for astronauts.
This mission is preparation for the first manned flights to the moon. In 2025, as part of the Artemis III mission, a craft with a crew will be required to land near the lunar south pole. This mission is planned to use the Starship of the SpaceX company, run by Elon Musk.