On December 5th NASA’s Orion spacecraft launched their first flight test at 7:05 am from space launch complex at Cape Canaveral air force station in Florida. This flight test is Orion’s new exploration for NASA’s new deep space journey and a critical step on its journey to Mars.
The spacecraft was deployed without any crew, with 1200 sensors to monitor how its communication and control systems is dealing with heightened radiation levels along with test equipments. After four and a half hour flight, orbiting around the world twice, reaching to an attitude of almost 3600 miles, the spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles southwest of San Diego. It was successful and functioned flawlessly throughout the flight as NASA said.
“I would describe it as the beginning of the Mars era” as NASA administrator Charles Bolden said on NASA tv. NASA along with its commercial partners have planned to take astronauts to a near earth world in the 2020s, and to mars and its moons around 2030. Without any doubt I would say this event was a historic moment for the agency and for the world, and a step forward into a beginning of a new era.