13 November 2013
NASA said yesterday that the Orion spacecraft is on track for its first test flight in September 2014. Orion’s purpose is to replace U.S. capacity for manned space missions which ended with the retirement of the space shuttle program. Orion is not expected to carry humans on board until 2021 at the earliest. Its four-hour test flight next year will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. After that, the craft is to make two orbits around the Earth and then plunge back into Earth's atmosphere at high speed. The test flight will take it 15 times farther than the International Space Station's orbit around the globe. (Image Credit: NASA)
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