Image credit: collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman
By Miriam Kramer
NASA’s new Orion spaceship, a capsule built to take humans farther into space than ever before, survived its first test flight Friday, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean to usher in a new era of deep-space exploration for the U.S. space agency.
The Orion space capsule — NASA’s first capsule built for a trip to Mars — made a bull’s-eye splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 11:29 a.m. EST (1629 GMT) after a 4.5 hour uncrewed test flight. Orion’s key systems were put to the test during the flight, which launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket, from a pad here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT).
U.S. Navy officials are now fishing Orion out of the ocean, about 275 miles (442 kilometers) west of Baja California, before bringing it to port in San Diego, California. NASA wants to retrieve the capsule to use the valuable flight data recorded during the test.
“Orion is back on Earth,” NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during live commentary. “America has driven a golden spike as it crosses a bridge into the future.”
Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.