NASA's new capsule at launch pad for test flight

AP News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2014 4:11 PM
NASA's new capsule at launch pad for test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Orion spacecraft is now at the launch pad for next month's test flight.

The spacecraft was moved 22 miles overnight at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and reached the launch pad early Wednesday. It was then hoisted into place on top of a Delta IV rocket for the Dec. 4 launch.

The test flight will last just over four hours and propel the unmanned capsule 3,600 miles away from Earth, before returning it for a splashdown in the Pacific.

Future Orions are meant to carry astronauts on missions of deep-space exploration, including trips to Mars. Astronauts are expected to start flying on Orion in 2021. The capsules are built for four passengers, one more than the old Apollo spacecraft.

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/index.html