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NASA's Orion Successful In Test Flight

Sheyna Gifford |
December 5, 2014 | 9:21 p.m. PST

Contributor

Orion liftoff in Florida (Bill Ingalls / NASA)
Orion liftoff in Florida (Bill Ingalls / NASA)
The Orion Spacecraft blasted off Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Within a minute, Orion cruised past the speed of sound.

All of the pieces that were supposed to fly off - the external panels, the launch abort system - flew off at the right time.

During the 4.5 hour test flight, the aviation system, the guidance system, and the parachutes all worked perfectly.

SEE ALSO: Orion Launch Scrubbed Thursday

"This has shown it’s a good design, it's a good mission," said Orion program manager Mark Geyer. “And now it's time to go fly.”

Freed from its boosters, the Orion capsule circled the planet twice before it splashed down into the Pacific ocean at 11:30 AM EST.

The capsule will be retrieved by the US Navy and sent back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

It seems that we have a ride to the red planet. What’s the next step in our journey there? 

Stay tuned at The Science Desk for more on humankind’s #JourneytoMars. 

Video Of Orion liftoff:

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