Orion has just left Earth’s atmosphere (live)

5 Dec 2014

The view from Orion at lift-off

US space agency NASA’s Orion spacecraft is currently exiting Earth’s atmosphere after a successful second attempt at lift-off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Orion spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, could potentially bring humans deeper into space.

It is envisaged that this launch means astronauts could be zooming from Earth to Mars by the 2030s.

Today’s Flight, called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), will travel 5,800 kilometres (3,600 miles) from Earth for four and a half hours before rocketing back and descending into the Pacific Ocean, where NASA will hopefully retrieve the capsule.

The purpose of the mission is to test the capsule’s heat shield, avionics and other systems.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years