NASA's Orion capsule splashes down in Pacific after lunar mission

NASA's Orion space capsule splashed down safely in the Pacific on Sunday, completing the Artemis-1 mission -- a more than 25-day journey around the Moon with an eye to returning humans there in coming years.

NASA's unmanned Orion spaceship comes in for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California, Mexico, on December 11, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

After hurtling through the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 40,000 kilometers per hour (25,000 mph), the uncrewed capsule floated down to the water with the help of three large red and white parachutes, as seen on NASA TV.

After a few hours of tests, the vessel will be recovered by a US Navy ship in waters off the Mexican island of Guadalupe.