Navy Returns NASA's Orion After Test Flight

Dec 9, 2014 4:05 AM

SAN DIEGO (AP) - NASA's new Orion spacecraft has returned to dry land in Southern California after a test flight that ended with a plunge in the Pacific Ocean.

A Navy ship, the USS Anchorage, delivered the capsule to Naval Base San Diego and unloaded the 11-foot-tall cone around 10 p.m. Monday.

Orion made an unmanned flight Friday that carried it 3,600 miles above Earth and then back at speeds of up to 20,000 mph.

It parachuted into the ocean about 600 miles southwest of San Diego, where the ship picked it up.

The spacecraft may one day carry astronauts to Mars, but its next trip will be on a truck that will carry it back to Cape Canaveral, Florida, in time for Christmas.

The next Orion flight, also unmanned, is four years away.


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