Nasa's Mars ship set for test flight
The first test launch of NASA's new deep space capsule, Orion, was postponed until today due to wind gusts and technical issues with the rocket, the US space agency said yesterday.
After multiple aborts in the nearly three-hour launch window yesterday, Nasa decided to try again today beginning at 7:05am from Cape Canaveral, Florida for the capsule, which is meant to carry humans to an asteroid or Mars in the coming years.
Tourists and space enthusiasts lined the area known as Florida's Space Coast to see the take-off of the Delta IV Heavy rocket powered by three boosters, and 27,000 guests were at the Kennedy Space Center for a close-up look.
The capsule's four-and-a-half hour test flight is due to carry the spacecraft around the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
The launch is the first of a US spacecraft meant to carry people into deep space in more than four decades, since the Apollo missions that brought men to the Moon.
Potential future missions for Orion, which can fit four people at a time, include a trip to lasso an asteroid and a journey to Mars by the 2030s.
Another unmanned test flight is slated for 2018. The first Orion test flight with people on board is scheduled for 2021.