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/ 2:35 p.m. CT (2035 GMT)
: Thursday's (Dec. 4) attempt at launching NASA's Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) was scrubbed after problems were found with the mission's Delta 4 Heavy rocket. The historic liftoff was delayed a day to troubleshoot some of the Delta's propellant fill-and-drain valves, which failed to close when commanded. The Orion launch will mark the first time in more than 40 years that a NASA capsule designed for a crew has flown in space.
/ 8:00 p.m. CT (0200 GMT Dec 6)
NASA's first Orion capsule to fly in space returned to Earth Friday (Dec. 5) 4 hours and 24 minutes after it launched on Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1). Described as "flawless," the two-orbit mission returned stunning views of the Earth as the uncrewed Orion climbed to 3,604 miles high and as it reentered the atmosphere in a test of its heat shield. A remotely-piloted drone filmed the capsule's descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
/ 5:20 p.m. CT (2320 GMT)
60,000 miles in 24 photos
: Two days after and 42 years before NASA's first Orion flew 3,604 miles out into space, the agency's last mission to the moon, Apollo 17, soared past the same distance. A first, small step for the new space capsule, NASA's Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 lasted just 4 hours and 24 minutes, but offered a glimpse at things to come. Here, in 24 photographs, is a look back at EFT-1, from the launch to orbit to ocean splashdown.
/ 4:45 p.m. CT (2245 GMT)
'Stoopid' space patch
: Invited to design the mission patch for the CASIS ARK3 series of science experiments to be performed on the International Space Station, actor and space enthusiast Seth Green drew inspiration from his inner 'nerd.' Borrowing the shape from the station's own Cupola and deriving its layout from a CASIS motto, Green based his patch's color palette on "Battlestar Galactica."
/ 3:05 p.m. CT (2105 GMT)
: Forty-two years (to the day) after the last manned moon landing, Astrobotic on Thursday (Dec. 11) announced the launch of its MoonMail program, offering the public the opportunity to fly their own mementos to the lunar surface. With a starting price of $460, MoonMail aims to open the moon to individuals. "They will make history by participating in the first commercial moon landing," stated Astrobotic's chief executive officer John Thornton.
/ 1:50 p.m. CT (1950 GMT)
'Journey To Space'
: Coming to large-format movie screens in 2015, "Journey To Space" tells the true "story of what the next chapter of space exploration will bring," while looking back at what role the space shuttle played in preparing us for that future. Filmed at NASA centers and at commercial facilities, "Journey To Space" features the real hardware being developed for a human mission to Mars.
/ 7:45 a.m. CT (1345 GMT)
: Tested and qualified by the European Space Agency, the new version of Omega's Speedmaster X-33, the Skywalker, features a movement based on an invention by ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. A digital and analog wristwatch, the Skywalker X-33 features mission and phase elapsed time modes to help astronauts track their mission events and a white on black dial to help with visibility in space. The Skywalker will now be included with the standard equipment issued to ESA astronauts.
/ 5:05 p.m. CT (2305 GMT)
Next year in space
: One hundred days from embarking on the first yearlong stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, a Roscosmos cosmonaut, spoke about their upcoming mission during a press conference at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris on Thursday (Dec. 18). The two space explorers said they were excited for their year off the planet, adding that the expedition is a "stepping stone" toward humans leaving Earth for destinations further out into the solar system.
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