OTD In Space - December 5: Orion Spacecraft Makes 1st Test Flight

2 months ago
On Dec. 5, 2014, NASA's Orion space capsule launched for the first time.

This spacecraft is designed to take astronauts to the moon and even Mars. No one was on board for this test launch, but there will be astronauts blasting off into space inside these capsules by the mid-2020s. For the first test launch, it lifted off on a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral. Four and a half hours later, it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. This mission allowed NASA to check out Orion's key components, like the heat shield, parachutes and on-board computers.