NASA’s Orion capsule blasts off on ‘first step’ to Mars

3 years ago by in Astronomy

The US space agency’s Orion capsule blasts off on Dec 5, 2014 on its first journey into orbit, a key test flight for a vehicle that could carry people to deep space destinations like Mars in the coming years.

The unmanned spacecraft soared to space at 7:05 a.m. (1205 GMT) atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket that rumbled and roared as it climbed above the Florida coast at sunrise.

“I think it’s a big day for the world, for people who know and love space,” said NASAadministrator Charles Bolden. The four-and-a-half hour flight aims to test crucial systems like the heat shield and parachute splashdown.

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