Space & Astronomy
Orion spacecraft test flight is a success
By T.K. Randall
December 5, 2014 · 75 comments
Orion will one day carry the first astronauts to Mars. Image Credit: NASA
NASA's successor to the space shuttles landed safely earlier today after embarking on its maiden voyage.
Crowds had gathered at Cape Canaveral in Florida this morning as the capsule, which will one day carry astronauts to Mars, blasted off successfully and headed out in to space.
During its four-hour flight it traveled further out than any other manned spacecraft had done in over four decades.
Following two orbits of the planet it then descended through the atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
The space agency stated that Orion's systems had worked "to perfection" during the test flight.
A second unmanned flight is planned for 2018 and the first manned mission, which could see astronauts take a trip around the moon, is tentatively scheduled for the early 2020s.
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