After yesterday’s scrubbed launch due to valve issues, the Orion spacecraft has launched on its first full test flight aboard a Delta IV rocket. This is the first step for humanity to reach beyond the Moon, and the Orion craft will eventually carry astronauts
Watching it live and seeing everyone in the space flight community on twitter talking about it and posting pictures really makes you feel like a part of the mission itself. I feel like I’m there in mission control along with the NASA staff, and having followed the progress of the mission for so long it feels like it belongs to all of us.
Below is an infographic from Space.com showing the purpose of the first flight. The most important part of the test is that the craft can survive the trip through the Van Allen Radiation belts. This is a key objective for any space craft that will carry humans to the Moon and beyond.