NASA'S SECOND ATTEMPT TO FLY A CAPSULE THAT COULD TAKE US TO MARS WAS A SUCCESS
Update 11:29 a.m. Splashdown! Orion is safely in the waters of the Pacific after successfully deploying its parachutes, thus concluding its first mission to space. According to NASA, the test flight went off without a hitch, which is great to hear, especially given all the problems with yesterday’s launch attempt. In the coming days, we'll learn more about how the test flight affected the capsule and whether or not it's safe to carry humans deep into space and beyond.
“There’s your new spacecraft America.”
Update 11:19 a.m. Orion just reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and is on its way to its splashdown target in the Pacific Ocean. In just a little over nine minutes, the capsule will deploy its drogue chutes, which will help slow it down, since it'll be going 20,000 mph. Once Orion is safely in the water, the USS Anchorage will recover the capsule and tow it to shore.
Update 10:30 a.m. After reaching a peak altitude of 3,600 miles above Earth, the Orion is on its way back down to the ground. The capsule just separated from the rest of the upper stage of the Delta IV and is flying solo for the first time in its "life." NASA says Orion's thrusters are providing perfect control, so now all we have to do is wait for its fiery reentry.