posted at 04:00
Author: Stan Schroeder
NASA finishes building its Mars-bound Orion spacecraft
NASA finished up its Orion Spacecraft Thursday, and it's preparing for a test flight on Dec. 4. When Orion launches in December, aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket, it will complete a 4.5-hour, two-orbit test flight. NASA says the spacecraft will return to Earth at speeds of more than 20,000 mph. Those speeds will generate temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the agency says. In future, missions Orion will be used as part of NASA's Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket. "This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low earth orbit, and in a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced," said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development. For those of you who might like a hands-on look at Orion, NASA has put together a printable kit for creating a desk model of your own. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Posts Archive