NASA releases closest images of moon’s surface

Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 9:14 AM MST
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(CNN) - NASA has released pictures of the moon taken Monday by the Orion capsule during its closest approach to the moon, about 80 miles above the lunar surface.

Orion is part of the Artemis One mission, a 25-and-a-half-day journey that will take Orion more than 40,000 miles beyond the far side of the moon.

The spacecraft also snapped a selfie on Wednesday, the eighth day of the mission.

If Orion completes its trek beyond the moon and back to Earth, it will be the furthest a spacecraft intended to carry humans has ever traveled.

For now, it’s only carrying inanimate, scientific payloads.

Nasa’s Artemis program aims to eventually establish a lunar outpost to permanently host astronauts for the first time in history.

The hope is to one day pave a route to Mars.

The Artemis one mission launched on Nov. 16. The Orion capsule is expected to return to Earth on Dec. 11.