Before entering lunar orbit, the NASA capsule buzzes the moon.

On its approach to a world-record-breaking orbit with test dummies substituting for the crew, 

NASA's Orion spacecraft reached the moon on Monday, flying around the far side and buzzing the lunar surface.

It marks a significant accomplishment in the $4.1 billion test journey that started last Wednesday and is the first time a capsule has visited the moon in fifty years.

The crew capsule and its three wired-up dummies were on the far side of the moon when it came within 81 miles (130 kilometers) of them.

Flight controllers in Houston could not learn whether the crucial engine firing went smoothly until the capsule came out from behind the moon, 232,000 miles

 (370,000 kilometers) from Earth, due to a 30-minute contact outage. This weekend, Orion will surpass Apollo 13's record of approximately 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers)

 from Earth for the farthest distance traveled by an astronaut-designed spacecraft set by NASA in 1970. And it will continue to go, getting up to 270,000 miles from Earth at its

farthest next Monday (433,000 kilometers). Orion lacks a lunar lander; a touchdown won't occur until NASA astronauts use SpaceX's Star-ship to try a lunar landing in 2025. 

Before that, as early as 2024 will see astronauts board the Orion spacecraft for a trip around the moon.