Nasa's Orion spacecraft is homeward-bound

# 06 December 2022 03:34 (UTC +04:00)

The US space agency's Orion capsule is heading home, APA reports citing BBC.

The vehicle conducted a big engine burn on Monday in the vicinity of the Moon that now commits it to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday.

It was the last major powered manoeuvre for the next-generation crew ship on what has been, so far, a highly successful demonstration flight.

A trouble-free return at the weekend will see astronauts climb aboard Orion for its next mission in late 2024.

Nasa is planning a series of ever more complex outings for the capsule and its launch rocket - as part of its Artemis programme.

This first flight, Artemis-1, has been all about testing systems in the absence of astronauts. They will get their opportunity on the next mission, Artemis-2.

Artemis-3 is most eagerly anticipated - an attempt to land people back on the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years. It could take place in late 2025 or in 2026.

But the whole plan depends on the current venture ending without incident.