Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Orion makes 'bullseye' splashdown

Nasa's new Orion spacecraft made a "bullseye" splashdown in the Pacific following a dramatic test flight.

The brief journey took it to a zenith height of 3,600 miles and ushered in a new era of human exploration aiming for Mars.

The unmanned test flight ended just four hours and 30 minutes after it began and achieved at least one record - flying farther and faster than any capsule built for humans since the Apollo moon programme.

Nasa is counting on future Orions to carry astronauts beyond Earth's orbit, to asteroids and ultimately the grand prize of Mars.

"There's your new spacecraft, America," Mission Control commentator Rob Navias said as the Orion capsule neared the water.

Mr Navies called the four-hour, 24-minute journey "the most perfect flight you could ever imagine."

Nasa said the capsule's computers were not affected by high radiation, one of the key questions they hoped to answer with the test.

Orion's return was captured by an unmanned drone flying over the recovery zone, providing spectacular views of the descending capsule.

Helicopters then relayed images of the crew module bobbing in the water. Three of the five air bags deployed properly, enough to keep the capsule floating upright.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph