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Old 05-12-14, 16:05   #1
 
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Update VIDEOs-NASA-Mars Test Spaceship Returns to Earth>Makes Splashdown

'Day One of the Mars Era': Historic Test Flight that Heralds New Age of Space Exploration Launches after Yesterday's Technical Glitches

  • Nasa's Orion spacecraft is designed to carry astronauts to an asteroid and eventually to Mars in the 2030s
  • It launched at 12.05 GMT (07.05 ET) today on a 4.5 hours journey that will see it travel twice around the Earth
  • Orion will reach an altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km) - 15 times the distance to the International Space Station
  • It will then re-enter the atmosphere at 20,000 mph (32,000 kph) before splashdown off Mexico's Baja coast
  • Lift-off was aborted yesterday due to a rogue boat straying into waters, high winds and a valve problem
  • In future, it be used with world's most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System, which will be ready in 2018
Daily Mail UK, 5 December 2014


For the first time in nearly half a century, Nasa has launched a spaceship designed to carry astronauts far beyond Earth.
Riding atop a fountain of fire, the 24-story-tall Orion spacecraft soared above the Atlantic Ocean at 12.05 GMT (07.05 ET) today, punching through partly cloudy skies.

The unmanned craft is now being catapulted around the Earth twice in a 4.5 hour journey, which will end when it re-enters the atmosphere later today at 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h).

In the future, Nasa hopes to use the spacecraft to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s and ultimately take them to Mars in the 2030s.

Scroll down for videos





We have lift-off: A spacecraft built to take astronauts to Mars has blasted off on its maiden flight around the Earth. Orion was fired into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, by a heavy-lift triple-booster rocket at 12.05 GMT (07.05 ET)




'The star of the day is Orion,' said Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden, back for the second morning in a row. He called it 'Day one of the Mars era.'


The maiden launch of the Orion spacecraft was postponed yesterday, after a technical fault, a stray boat and poor weather conditions hampered efforts to blast into space.
However, today's launch was described by Nasa as 'picture perfect' - and so far all of the separation stages have gone to plan.

As the rocket roared into orbit, cameras streamed video showing dramatic pictures of the two side boosters falling away and the curved edge of the Earth.

Nasa is aiming for a peak altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km) on Orion's second lap around the planet, in order to give the capsule the necessary momentum for a scorchingly high-speed re-entry over the Pacific.

Just three minutes into the launch, the spacecraft was already travelling at five times the speed of sound.


Engineers want to see how the heat shield - the largest of its kind ever built - holds up when Orion comes back through the atmosphere traveling 20,000 mph (32,200 kph)and enduring 4,000 degrees (2,200 Celsius).


Nasa's Orion spacecraft launch




First step towards Mars: Orion's Delta IV rocket clears the service tower that sits alongside the launchpad at Cape Canaveral. The high-stakes test flight is meant to usher in a new era of human exploration leading ultimately to Mars




Separation: Three protective panels encasing the Orion service module fell away from the Orion Space Capsule just minutes after launch







Leaving Earth: Riding atop a fountain of fire, the 24-story-tall Orion spacecraft soared above the Atlantic Ocean at 12.05 GMT (07.05 ET) today



The atmosphere at Kennedy Space Center was reminiscent of the shuttle-flying days. After more than three years since the last shuttle flight, Nasa reveled in all the attention.
Launch commentator Mike Curie fed the enthusiasm in the gathered crowds, calling it 'the dawn of Orion in a new era of American space exploration'

Mark Geyer, Orion programme manager at Nasa, said:

'It was very good to see how well the rocket did its job and very exciting to see it go up into space.
'Now it is actually doing the job it was designed to do. We still have a long way to go with this mission but everything is going great.
'All the systems were on already, we have linked up to the satellites.
'We had a few key tests to run in the first six minutes of the flight that were very important for us.
'We jettisoned service module fairing which are there to reduce mass on the rest of Orion. This is a critical event these pyrotechnic systems and it went perfectly.



Quote:
WHAT ARE THE KEY FLIGHT MILESTONES DURING ORION'S MAIDEN JOURNEY AROUND EARTH?




Down to Earth: Orion is expected to have a rapid re-entry speed into the atmosphere close to 32,000km/h (20,000mph), according to Nasa


One minute, 25 seconds after liftoff, Orion went supersonic.
Four minutes after liftoff, two of the Delta IV's three liquid-fueled boosters were jettisoned.
Five minutes, 30 seconds, the last booster burns out and separated from the upper-stage engine.
Six minutes, 15 seconds, with the second-stage burning, three protective panels separated from Orion's mock-up service module. Five seconds later, the launch escape system was jettisoned.
Seventeen minutes, the second-stage engine shut down, leaving Orion in its initial orbit 115 by 552 miles (185 by 888 km) above Earth.
Three hours, after a second burn of the upper-stage engine, Orion passed through intense radiation in the Van Allen Belts and reaches its peak altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km).
Three hours, 23 minutes, Orion separates from its service module and the Delta upper stage and prepares to return to Earth.
Three hours, 57 minutes, Orion fires its steering thrusters to position itself for atmospheric re-entry.
Four hours, 13 minutes, Orion, travelling at 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h) reaches upper limits of Earth's atmosphere.
Four hours, 15 minutes, Orion experiences peak heating of about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,200 Celsius).
Four hours, 19 minutes, parachutes begin deploying to slow Orion's descent.
Four hours, 23 minutes, Orion lands in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles (965 km) off the coast of Baja California. Recovery teams will retrieve the capsule and take it to San Diego, California.






'Picture perfect': All stages of launch has so far gone to plan. Nasa launch commentator Mike Curie fed the enthusiasm in the gathered crowds, calling it 'the dawn of Orion in a new era of American space exploration'









View from Orion: The unmanned spacecraft blasted off in a cloud of smoke on a historic test-flight to orbit the Earth twice (left). Things soon heated up as it made its way high into Earth's atmosphere


'The launch abort system on top, which is there to protect the astronauts during launch, we practiced the moment we had to get that off. Both of those were huge, key events for us.'

Orion is being developed alongside the world's most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which is due to make its maiden launch in 2018 or 2019.
Together, SLS and Orion will allow Nasa to send humans into deep space to destinations such as Mars.

For this launch, Orion was strapped to a Delta IV-Heavy rocket - currently the largest launch system in the world. Three RS-68 engines produced about two million pounds of thrust at lift-off.
Five and a half minutes after launch, at an altitude of around 200 miles (320km), fuel ran out on both the Delta IV's main and booster engines.
A couple of seconds later, the entire bottom end - or the 'first stage' of the rocket - detached, while the second stage engine will ignited to take Orion to a higher orbit.
The upper stage's protective fairings were then jettisoned, along with the launch abort system, which is designed to protect the astronauts in the case of an emergency during launch by carrying the capsule to safety.


Quote:
THE FAULT WITH ORION'S FUEL VALVES AND HOW NASA FIXED THEM BY GIVING THEM A 'WAGGLE'

The first attempt to launch the Orion Space Capsule on Thursday had to be abandoned after a rogue boat in the area, wind gusts and a faulty valve led the spacecraft to miss its launch window.
Automatic fault detection systems picked up a fault with the fill and drain valves in the fuel tanks of the Delta IV rocket, causing the countdown to be placed on hold.
Overnight Nasa engineers examined the rocket and found that the valves had malfunctioned due to the super-cold temperatures they were exposed from the liquid hydrogen fuel.
The tanks are kept at -423 degrees F (-252 degrees C) to keep both the hydrogen and oxygen propellants in liquid form before they are combined and ignited with explosive force.
Exposed to these temperatures the valves essentially froze shut, leading to the $370 million (236m) launch to be postponed until Friday.
Nasa said that on Friday it implemented a procedure to open and close the valves several times to keep them from seizing up.
A spokesman told Mail Online: 'Managers and engineers determined that the fill and drain valves, which had been immersed in liquid hydrogen for more than two hours, became sluggish when subjected to the super-cold -423 degree Fahrenheit temperatures.
'After diagnosing the issue, a procedure was implemented today to open and close the valves several times to ensure they did not become sluggish.
'The plan worked and all the valves performed flawlessly today.'






A new dawn: Nasa's new Orion spacecraft streaked into orbit Friday on a high-stakes test flight meant to usher in a new era of human exploration leading ultimately to Mars





Looking back: On-board cameras capture Orion's first view of the Earth as it begins a slow roll to regulate temperatures during its orbit





Delayed: Orion was set to launch at 12.05 GMT (07:05 local time) yesterday, but wind gusts temporarily delayed lift-off with less than four minutes left in the countdown. Nasa now plans to attempt launch at the same time today




Ambition: The earliest Orion might carry passengers is 2021; a mission to an asteroid is on the space agency's radar sometime in the 2020s and Mars, the grand prize, in the 2030s








Under pressure: The launch should give engineers the opportunity to check the performance of Orion's critical heat shield, which is likely to experience temperatures in excess of 2,000C (4,000F)


After two hours, and one orbit of Earth, the second-stage rocket will be ignited again, moving Orion up to an altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km).
This is 15 times the distance to the ISS and will cause Orion to travel through the high-radiation Van Allen Belts.
At three hours after lift-off, Orion will hit its peak altitude and then slowly start its descent back to Earth

The flight program has been loaded into Orion's computers well in advance, allowing the spacecraft to fly essentially on autopilot.
It should give engineers the opportunity to check the performance of Orion's critical heat shield, which is likely to experience temperatures in excess of 2,000C (4,000F).

Its re-entry speed into the atmosphere will be close to 20,000mph (32,000km/h) - similar to the speed of the Apollo capsules that returned from the moon in the 1960s and 1970s.

The dry run, if all goes well, will end with a Pacific splashdown off Mexico's Baja coast and Navy ships will recover the capsule for future use.





Separation: Three hours and 23 minutes after launch, Orion separate from its service module and the Delta upper stage, and prepares to return to Earth (shown)





Waiting game: News photographers and journalists watch as the sun rises on the Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft waiting for lift-off on the launch pad from the Cape Canveral Air Force Station in Florida




New dawn of space travel: Orion will allow the United States to send its own astronauts into space for the first time since the Space Shuttle








Next step: This mission is unmanned, but in the future Nasa hopes to use the Orion craft to send astronauts to an asteroid, and someday Mars



The spacecraft is rigged with 1,200 sensors to gauge everything from heat to vibration to radiation.

Geyer said:

'We're going to test the riskiest parts of the mission. Ascent, entry and things like fairing separations, Launch Abort System jettison, the parachute, plus the navigation and guidance - all those things are going to be tested.
'Plus, we'll fly into deep space and test the radiation effects on those systems.'

A crucial test will come when Orion flies through the Van Allen belts, which are two layers of charged particles orbiting around Earth.

'The ISS would not have to deal with radiation but we will, and so will every vehicle that goes to the moon,' Geyer told the BBC.
'That's a big issue for the computers. These processors that are now so small - they're great for speed but they're more susceptible to radiation.
'That's something we have to design for and see how it all behaves.'

Another key test will be on the heat shield on Orion's base, designed to protect the craft from the searing temperatures of atmospheric re-entry.
It is 16.5ft (five metres) across and is the biggest, most advanced of its kind ever made.





What will happen after launch? Just minutes after lift-off, the entire bottom end - or the 'first stage' of the rocket - will detach, while the second stage engine will ignite to take Orion to a higher orbit





Flight sequence: Five and a half minutes after launch, at an altitude of around 200 miles (320km), the fuel will have run out on both the Delta IV's main and booster engines, so Orion will separate and head into a higher orbit





Test flight: Orion will make two big laps around Earth before re-entering the atmosphere at 20,000 mph (32,200 km/h). Pictured is an artist's impression of the Orion craft in orbit


On this flight, Orion will reach close to 2,000C (4,000F), not quite the 2,800C (5,000F) that was generated from the moon missions, but close enough for a good test of the technology.
That's why Orion will aim for a 3,600 miles (5,800 km) peak altitude to pick up enough speed to come back fast and hot with this mission, officially called Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1).
Even though bears a strong resemblance to the Apollo command module that carried astronauts to the moon in the 1960s, it is bristling with the latest technology that makes it markedly different.

'There's an obvious comparison to draw between this first Orion launch and the first unmanned flight of the Apollo spacecraft on Apollo 4 [in 1967], but there are more differences than similarities,' space historian Amy Teitel told MailOnline.
'Apollo 4 flew a nearly lunar-ready command and service module, was the first flight of the Saturn V rocket, and demonstrated that both the S-IVB rocket stage and the spacecraft's own engine could ignite in a vacuum.
'The EFT-1 flight is only testing a spacecraft; it doesn't even have its service module!
'With Apollo 4, we knew we were going to the moon and it was clear this mission was putting us firmly back on that path after the major setback of the Apollo 1 fire. With Orion, we don't have a clear goal and a firm timeline for this new spacecraft.'



Quote:
HOW DOES ORION COMPARE TO APOLLO MODULE THAT TOOK MAN TO THE MOON IN 1969?




A 'new Apollo'? Orion bears a strong resemblance to the Apollo command module that carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969, but it is bristling with the latest technology that makes it markedly different.

Quote:
The Orion space capsule will enable Nasa to send its own astronauts into space for the first time since the Space Shuttle programme was scrapped.
But the next-generation vehicle will also herald a new era of space travel as it has been designed to carry humans to land on asteroids and even to other worlds.
Ultimately Nasa hopes Orion will allow astronauts to make the first manned journey to Mars.


Perhaps understandably the development of Orion has helped reawakened some of the atmosphere of exploration that surrounded Nasa during the Apollo missions that first landed mankind on the moon.
But with almost exactly 42 years between the last Apollo mission, Apollo 17, which launched on 7 December 1972, and the first flight of Orion, the technology has moved on considerably.

On the surface the two space capsules look the same - they are cone-shaped, and have a large heat shield to protect the astronauts from the intense conditions during re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.
However, Orion is larger, capable of carrying four crew members rather than Apollo's three. It will also have to carry far more supplies than Apollo ever did.

The last Apollo mission saw a two man crew spend just three days on the moon's surface while a mission to an asteroid or to Mars could see astronauts spending up to 450 days in space.

Like the Apollo Command Module, Orion has a Service Module attached that houses a single large engine, batteries and storage.
However, Orion will carry a pair of solar arrays to help keep the capsule powered in space - technology that Apollo did not use.

Orion also uses up-to-date computers, electronics, life support and propulsion systems. The electronics also have a far more sophisticated radiation shielding than the Apollo modules.

Nasa has also used some hard lessons to improve the heat shield. Measuring 16.5 feet (five metres) across, it is the largest heat shield ever built for a spacecraft and has been covered in a new material called Avcoat.
Nasa has also improved the parachutes, once used to land the Apollo spacecraft and slow the Space Shuttle, to help Orion land more safely in the water when it splashes down after a mission.



Final countdown: The Orion capsule sits on top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket at the launch pad in Florida. Yesterday, it had to await the removal of a boat that had strayed into waters close to the launch site before the first launch could be attempted - before a faulty valve scuppered it




Poised: Orion awaits launch in Florida. This is the first attempt to send a spacecraft capable of carrying humans beyond a couple hundred miles of Earth since the Apollo moon mission


But at 11ft (3.6 metres) tall with a 16.5ft (5 metres) base, Orion is much larger than the old-time Apollo capsules, and is designed to carry four astronauts rather than three.
The earliest Orion might carry passengers is 2021; a mission to an asteroid is on the space agency's radar sometime in the 2020s and Mars, the grand prize, in the 2030s.

'We're approaching this as pioneers,' said William Hill of Nasa's exploration systems development office.
'We're going out to stay eventually. ... It's many, many decades away, but that's our intent.'

However, Nasa has yet to develop the technology to carry out manned surface operations on Mars.



Quote:
ORION WANTS TO TAKE PEOPLE TO MARS, BUT CAN HUMANS SURVIVE A JOURNEY TO THE RED PLANET?




Can we survive a trip to Mars? Pictured is the surface of the red planet, as seen by the Viking I Lander


Scientists hope Orion will return humans to the moon by 2020 and transport the first visitors to Mars in the 2030s.
But the 140 million-mile (225 million km) journey to Mars will involve extreme hazards threatening the lives of astronauts.
Space is filled with dangerous radiation that the Earth's atmosphere shields us from. The greatest threat comes from high energy streams of subatomic particles pouring out of the sun that can damage DNA, leading to cancer.

How big is the radiation risk?


Nasa's Curiosity Mars rover was hit by 0.66 sieverts of radiation during its 253 trip to Mars. That's the equivalent of receiving a whole body CT X-ray scan every five or six days.
Intense bursts of radiation and particles erupting from the sun, in large solar flares or coronal mass ejections, have the power to disrupt electrical equipment and deliver potentially lethal doses. Radiation shielding coating the spacecraft can offer some protection.

Is there a danger of being hit by a meteorite?


Big and small rocks are continually flying around the Solar System, millions of which go undetected. On a long journey through space the risk of being hit is not negligible, and even a tiny meteorite could wreak unimaginable damage.
Bigger objects can be steered around if detected in advance, and Nasa has been developing armour-like materials and double-layer walls to protect against smaller objects.

How easy is it to land on Mars?


The answer is, not easy at all, which is why so many Mars missions have failed. Overall the success rate of landing on Mars is only about 50 per cent.
This is one area where it pays off to have humans on board rather than relying on computers. During the Apollo moon missions, Nasa never lost a single lander, despite some very close shaves. Mars is much more challenging, though, because it has an atmosphere and appreciable gravity.

How bad is a Mars trip for your health?


Without gravity, bones become brittle and muscles start to waste away. There is also evidence that gravity affects the way the brain works.
The astronauts will have to undergo strict exercise regimes to make up for the lack of gravity. Another solution would be to provide at least some degree of artificial gravity by spinning the spacecraft as it travels.
Psychological health is considered a very imported issue for long distance space travellers. The astronauts will need to be mentally tough to cope with being so far from home in the knowledge that so far out in space there can be no hope of rescue.

Why go to Mars at all?


Many experts say only so much can be done with robots. Humans are just so much better at finding and selecting samples, and spotting the unexpected. Others argue that it will inspire children and unite humanity in a common adventure.
Some say that confining ourselves to a planet with limited resources is simply not an option if the human race is to survive.






On track: In the months leading up to launch, Orion has been rigorously tested as engineers prepare it for a journey beyond low Earth orbit




Recovery: The US Navy and Nasa recovery teams will be on station off the cost of California and ready to recover Orion after landing


By comparison, it took eight years from the time President John Kennedy announced his intentions of landing a man on the moon - before John Glenn even became the first American to orbit Earth - to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's lunar bootprints in 1969.

Given the present budget situation, 'it is what it is,' said Kennedy Space Center's director Robert Cabana, a former astronaut. And the presidential election ahead could bring further delays and uncertainties.

Lockheed Martin is handling the 236 million ($370 million) test flight, and Nasa will be overseeing its operation.
Nasa's last trip beyond low-Earth orbit in a vessel built for people was Apollo 17 in December 1972.

'This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit,' said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development.
'In a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced. It's thrilling to be a part of the journey now, at the beginning.'



Quote:
THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL CARGO BEING CARRIED 3,600 MILES INTO SPACE ON ORION'S FIRST TEST FLIGHT




Technicians pack bags to be placed into Orion's stowage lockers with items from Sesame Street including a cookie belonging to Cookie Monster, Ernie's rubber duck, Grover's cape and Slimey the Worm

Quote:
Nasa has packed its Orion space capsule with experiments and sensor designed to measure the conditions inside the vehicle.
However, also hitching a 3,600 miles (5,800km) above Earth will be Captain Kirk, a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil and some Sesame Street puppets.
They are all part of a weird collection of artefacts, celebrity photos and memorabilia that has been placed inside Orion's storage lockers.
Nasa has also placed a tiny sample of lunar soil along with a fossil from a Tyrannosaurus rex donated by the Denver Science Museum, into the capsule.
A microchip carrying the names of more than a million people who submitted their names will also be carried onboard.
Lockheed Martin, the main contractor on Orion, worked with the Entertainment Industries Council to collect items from science fiction-related celebrities to place on Orion.
William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series and is a noted space enthusiast, supplied an action figure of 'Captain Kirk in Environmental Suit'.
'William Shatner is thrilled to send Kirk back to space and support Orion, while inspiring future generations about space travel,' EIC vice president Skylar Jackson told collectSPACE .
Director Jon Favreau offered an Iron Man challenge coin while Back to the Future actress Claudia Wells provided signed cast photos and a Delorean time machine model.
Mayim Bialik, from The Big Bang Theory, also gave pictures of her ancestors. A collection of pins, medals and artworks will also be carried in the Orion lockers.
Also among the cargo will be props from Sesame Street including a cookie belonging to Cookie Monster, Ernie's rubber duck, Oscar the Grouch's pet Slimey the Worm and Grover's cape.
When they return to Earth they will take prized spots on the long-running television programme in a bid to educate millions of children about space.
In a statement on its website, Nasa said: 'Together, the artifacts chart humanity's progress and technological advancement as the nation takes a critical step forward on the Journey to Mars.'
Carrying commemorative cargo into space, however, is not a new tradition and has been done since the very early age of space flight.
Nasa's Mercury astronauts carried dimes in their spacesuits while astronauts on the Apollo missions carried photos and specially stamped envelopes.
The Voyager spacecraft have also carried gold discs featuring sounds of Earth along with a range of other information while the Curiosity rover on Mars carried a penny to calibrate its instruments.



Orion's batteries were charged up using power from the launch pad as unlike future operational versions it does not carry solar panels





Heavy lifting: The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying Orion will burn through 450,000 gallons of hydrogen and oxygen fuel in order to produce the two million pounds of thrust needed to lift the 815 ton space rocket out of Earth's atmosphere








'This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit,' said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development. 'In a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced'



'New Era of American Space Exploration': Orion Spaceship Launch



Live: Nasa's Orion Spacecraft Launch





Orion's Stage Separation as it Sailed Through the Atmosphere




All About NASA's Orion Spacecraft that Blasted off in December




Mike Curie of NASA Communications on Orion's Engine Systems




Orion’s First Flight Test on NASA TV




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Old 06-12-14, 15:59   #2
 
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Update re: VIDEOs-NASA-Mars Test Spaceship Returns to Earth>Makes Splashdown

Nasas Orion Spaceship Makes Splashdown

By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, Cape Canaveral, 6 Dec 2014

Nasa puts up a drone to watch Orion drop down into the Pacific Ocean



The US space agency's new Orion crew capsule has completed its maiden, unmanned voyage with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico.
Drone video sighted the ship descending gently on its parachutes, shortly before it hit the water.

US Navy support vessels, with the help of divers, moved in swiftly to recover the floating spacecraft.

Orion is designed eventually to take humans beyond the space station, to destinations such as the Moon and Mars.

Its brief 4.5-hour flight was intended to test its critical technologies, like the heat shield and those parachutes.

Commentators on Nasa's television channel said the craft had made a "bulls-eye" splashdown.
"There's your new spacecraft, America,'' mission control commentator Rob Navias said as the Orion capsule neared the water.

Mark Geyer, the agency's Orion programme manager commended a near-flawless outing, telling reporters later:

"It's hard to have a better day than today."




Nasa astronauts and journalists watched the landing from the Kennedy Space Center






Orion was launched on a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 07:05 local time (12:05 GMT).



The orange-coloured triple booster was quickly lost in cloud after clearing the pad but headed effortlessly east out over the Atlantic for a two-lap circuit of the Earth.
It was on the second of those two orbits that the Delta's upper-stage took Orion up to an altitude of 6,000km, to set up a fast fall back to the planet.

Nasa's chief scientist Ellen Stofan says the road to Mars requires many more technologies



The capsule was expected to attain speeds close to 30,000km/h as it entered the atmosphere, with the pressing air likely to have generated temperatures on the ship's underside of up to 2,000C.
This was one of the key aims of the mission - to see how Orion's thermal protection systems would perform.
Engineers will know more when the capsule is recovered and returned to land for inspection.

Orion is reminiscent of the Apollo command ships that took men to the Moon in the 60s and 70s, only bigger and with cutting-edge systems.
It is being developed alongside a powerful new rocket that will have its own debut in 2017 or 2018.

Together, they will form the core capabilities needed to send humans beyond the International Space Station.




Video cameras onboard the spacecraft captured views of the Earth and the heat of re-entry



Friday's mission is but one small step in a very long development programme.
Unable to call upon the financial resources of the Apollo era, Nasa is instead having to take a patient path.

Even if today it had a fully functioning Orion, with its dedicated rocket, the US space agency would not be able to mount a mission to another planetary body because the technologies to carry out surface operations have not been produced yet, and it could be the 2030s before we see them all - certainly, to do a Mars mission.

To go to the Red Planet would require transfer vehicles, habitation modules, and effective supply and communication chains. And fundamental to the outcome of the whole venture would be a descent/ascent solution that enabled people to get down safely to the surface and then get back up again to make the journey home.

Orion was launched atop a Delta IV-Heavy rocket at Cape Canaveral

Nasa's chief scientist Ellen Stofan told the BBC:

"We have all these technologies mapped out and we're asking, 'what is the most sustainable path we can get on (to acquire them)?' And when I say 'we', I don't just mean the United States because it's not just Nasa that's thinking about this; it's all the space agencies around the world."

To that end, the European Space Agency has been asked to provide the "back end" for all future Orion capsules.
This service module is principally the propulsion unit that drives Orion through space.
Nasa says it is open to similar contributions from other partners as well.




The capsule hit the Pacific Ocean within seconds of its scheduled arrival time


Nonetheless, some commentators, like the respected historian John Logsdon, are worried that the policy as laid out cannot continue in its current guise.

"The first Orion launch with a crew aboard is 2020/21, and then nothing very firmly is defined after that, although of course Nasa has plans. That's too slow-paced to keep the launch teams sharp, to keep everyone engaged. It's driven by the lack of money, not the technical barriers," he said.

But there is no doubting the enthusiasm within Nasa for the Orion project.
Rex Waldheim flew on the very last shuttle mission in 2011, and is now assisting the design of the capsule's interior systems.
He told BBC News:

"The people that are actually going to fly in Orion - I just can't imagine the thrill they're going to have when they sit here at the Kennedy Space Centre atop the rocket, ready to go to the Moon or to Mars or an asteroid - these incredible destinations. It's just going to be spectacular."




Three big parachutes lowered Orion into the water



VIDEOs from Mission Control:

The Orion EFT-1 Test Flight Ends with a Splashdown in the Pacific



Nasas Orion Spaceship Makes Splashdown




Orion Splashdown Watched from the Recovery Ship



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Old 08-12-14, 01:02   #3
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Default Re: VIDEOs-NASA-Mars Test Spaceship Returns to Earth>Makes Splashdown

I've seen that Delta Heavy launch down in Florida, it's a biggy, but nothing like the Space Shuttle. I've seen the space shuttle go up several times. Really miss it going up anymore.
As far as this Orion launch goes, the way I see it, it was a wasted trip. If they'd ask me, I'd volunteered to go up in it. That would have been some ride. They most likely though would have had a hard time cleaning it out though. Riding an airplane makes me sick. It would have still taken that ride though......uggh gettin a little nausea thinking about it....lol

This is a picture I took in Feb. 2008 of the last shuttle I got to see go up. According to Street Atlas, drawing a straight line from were I was to the launch pad, it was 13 miles. Even at that distance you could hear and lightly feel the rumble of the rocket engines. The other pic is a night launch of an Atlas rocket. I used to spend the month of Feb. in Florida to catch some launches. Just a side note not meaning to take away from your post.
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Old 10-12-14, 03:32   #4
 
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Default Re: VIDEOs-NASA-Mars Test Spaceship Returns to Earth>Makes Splashdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarfoot View Post
I've seen that Delta Heavy launch down in Florida, it's a biggy, but nothing like the Space Shuttle. I've seen the space shuttle go up several times. Really miss it going up anymore.
As far as this Orion launch goes, the way I see it, it was a wasted trip. If they'd ask me, I'd volunteered to go up in it. That would have been some ride. They most likely though would have had a hard time cleaning it out though. Riding an airplane makes me sick. It would have still taken that ride though......uggh gettin a little nausea thinking about it....lol

This is a picture I took in Feb. 2008 of the last shuttle I got to see go up. According to Street Atlas, drawing a straight line from were I was to the launch pad, it was 13 miles. Even at that distance you could hear and lightly feel the rumble of the rocket engines. The other pic is a night launch of an Atlas rocket. I used to spend the month of Feb. in Florida to catch some launches. Just a side note not meaning to take away from your post.

Interesting Tarfoot,,, but I have 1 ? for you and I hope you can answer it for me personally...

In all the reports/Videos I make.....eg...On YouTube, I see so many people posting they do NOT trust NASA.... that surprised me..a LOT


Why Tarfoot?... what can those people see /know that I can't figure out?



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Old 10-12-14, 05:28   #5
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Default Re: VIDEOs-NASA-Mars Test Spaceship Returns to Earth>Makes Splashdown

Well as for NASA, I don't trust'em anymore. They've been caught in too many lies, after all they are part of the government so it comes natural. I do like to watch the rocket go up, but what they're doing with them all I have no idea. I think NASA know of impending dangers of incoming asteroids and such but will refuse to warn the public. This goes for all the countries that are in the know. That's why they've got all of these underground bunkers for the elite. Us peons will be left to survive on our own accept for the ones God takes up first. Time is getting soooo short, but this is my feeling, strong though it is.
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