NASA Previews First December Test Flight Of New Orion Spacecraft, Which Will Carry Astronauts To Mars

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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NASA released a new video Wednesday going step by step through the upcoming Dec. 4 test flight of the agency’s new deep-space Orion spacecraft, which will eventually ferry astronauts to the moon, an asteroid and Mars.

“Trial By Fire” takes you through the general critical systems tests Orion will undergo during its first 4.5-hour test flight 3,600 miles above Earth, during which it will orbit the planet twice before re-entering the atmosphere at 20,000 m.p.h. and reaching temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Orion will then deploy two stages of parachutes for a splashdown in the Pacific, returning to Earth with troves of flight data for NASA engineers to analyze in preparation to send astronauts deeper into space than they’ve ever gone before.


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