July 2, 2012

Orion Arrival

The Orion capsule arrives to the Kennedy Space Center ahead of its 50th anniversary, giving the public a glimpse at the capsule a couple of years before its planned 2014 unmanned orbital test flight.  The Orion crew capsule is a deep-space exploration program that could ultimately send humans back to the moon, or on to new landing zones like asteroids and Mars.  The 2014 Exploration Flight Test-1 will be an unmanned mission that will see that Orion travels 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface, which is 15 times farther than the International Space Station’s orbit.  The flight test will be farther than any spacecraft designed to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years.  NASA said the primary objective of the flight is to understand Orion’s heat shield performance at speeds generated during a return from deep space.  credit:  NASA

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