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Splashdown! NASA's Orion space capsule completes 'flawless' test flight
[i]In a scene reminiscent of the early Apollo program, three red and white-striped parachutes lowered a NASA space capsule to a splashdown on Friday (Dec. 5), bringing to an end an uncrewed test flight that reached an altitude last achieved by the moon missions.
NASA's new Orion capsule completed its first spaceflight, called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), four hours and 24 minutes after launching on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 4 Heavy rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Orion spacecraft splashed down at 11:29 a.m. EST (1629 GMT) at 23.6 degrees north latitude by 116.46 degrees west longitude, about 275 miles (445 kilometers) west of Baja, California in the Pacific Ocean.
"Today's flight test of Orion is a huge step for NASA and a really critical part of our work to pioneer deep space on our journey to Mars. The teams did a tremendous job putting the Orion through its paces in the real environment it will endure as we push the boundary of human exploration in the coming years," Charles Bolden, NASA's Administrator, said in a statement.[/i]
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