Let's get some humans up in this bitch
NASA is launching its boldest test flight in decades this week. An unmanned capsule will head off on Thursday to reach a distance of 3,600 miles from Earth—the farthest space mission with a craft designed to accommodate humans since the final Apollo 17 trip to the moon in 1972.
Called Orion, the program will mark a key initial step toward a human mission to Mars. Orion is also designed to excite the public’s imagination for deep-space exploration, much as the Apollo moon missions sparked an interest in space and produced civilian engineering triumphs. With the first test flight on Thursday, NASA wants to make it abundantly clear that much of the hardware that can get humans to Mars already exists and is ready to fly.
On its first flight Thursday, the Orion capsule will orbit earth twice, carrying 1,200 sensors. After a flight of four hours and 24 minutes, Orion will drop into the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles from San Diego, slowed to about 17 miles per hour by large parachutes.
The first flight is designed primarily to test the craft’s thermal protection—the largest shield system in the history of space flight, according to NASA.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 … er-to-mars
This sounds pretty exciting to me, we might actually get to witness something within our lifetime on the same level of human achievement as landing on the moon!