Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NASA Set To Test Orion Deep-Space Capsule On Thursday

Ken O’Brien

NASA announced on Monday that it is set to test the spacecraft that it says will eventually deliver astronauts to Mars.

The agency announced on Monday that the Orion space capsule will get an uncrewed test flight early Thursday morning. reported that the capsule is scheduled to ascend to around 3,600 miles above the Earth, then orbit the planet twice before re-entering the planet traveling at around 20,000 mph before landing in the ocean about 600 miles southwest of San Diego.

“Orion is the first spacecraft built for astronauts destined for deep space since the storied Apollo missions of the 1960s and 70s,” NASA stated. “It is designed to go farther than humans have ever traveled, well beyond the moon, pushing the boundaries of spaceflight to new heights.”

But NASA also plans to eventually use Orion to send astronauts to an asteroid and “redirect” it into orbit around the moon. The first planned flight involving a crew is reportedly scheduled for 2021.

“Astronauts aboard Orion will return to Earth with samples of the asteroid, having tested a number of collection tools and techniques we’ll use in future human missions to Mars or its moons,” the agency stated.

The capsule is designed to carry a four-person crew for missions lasting up to 21 days, or six-person crews for shorter missions.


  1. This is awesome. I used to think the Chinese would beat us back to the moon but now I believe my boys will see American astronauts on the moon and possibly Mars before they get out of college. In my younger days I wanted to be one of those guys but now my wife tells me there's too much work to be done around the house to take on a long term assignment like that.

  2. Although I agree that it is wonderful that your space program is still reaching out to the space beyond Earth's atmosphere, it frustrates me that you have spent/ borrowed billions of Dollars to design the launch vehicle that lifts Orion into orbit when there are more advanced less expensive healthier methods of going about this task.

    Let's face it. Rockets are very 20th Century. You may recall that Dr. Goddard of Auburn Massachusetts started modern rocketry, but it has pretty much served its purpose and most of the rockets that you humans have built were meant to delivery payloads of nuclear weapons.

    We aliens are technically not supposed to get involved too much with human affairs, but what I am going to advocate here has been discussed at length in your scientific journals, and I have selected your town to deliver this message because you are famous for overlooking the petty little laws that govern government in order to get things done, so why not turn to Southbridge to challenge other conventional techniques?

    As I am sure some of you have already figured out what I am going to recommend, please write or email your Congressmen and Senators and pass it on because it will save you all money. Remember that every $2 Billion your US Government spends, that equates to the cost of a pizza with all the toppings for the average taxpayer.

    America needs space elevators! Please don't build just one. It would make sense to start with at least three. This could be achieved within a decade, and would pay for itself within a year in reduced launching costs. Just yesterday your President authorized $ix Billion to combat the dangerous Ebola virus in West Africa. That expenditure may save civilization. Your finest scientists suggest that the first space elevator could be built for under $2 Billion, so of course it is wise to budget $six Billion and hope that there is enough to build 2-4 more with what is left over. It will be reduce the cost of sending a pound of payload into orbit from over a $Hundred Fifty Thousand to well under a $Thousand. There are many other amazing advantages as well.I'd really be breaking the rules of the Interplanetary Information Commission if I went too deeply into this, but Carbon -60 is a great building block, and if you make enough of it and bring it into orbit to build the multitude of orbital structures for the frontiers of beyond, you may discover that you will no longer have a climate crisis, but that will require many space lifts.

    Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Earthlings.

    1. Hold the PepperoniDecember 3, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      I for one, will give up a pizza or two for space exploration. And let's face it, our entire country could forgo a few pizzas!

    2. I really hate it when aliens show up pushing the latest and greatest just to rope us into a long term service contract. Space elevators are great if you have a strong, light weight material to build the tether. We don't have that yet. I suppose you do and for the low, low price of N you'd be willing to part with the technology. And how much are we supposed to cough up for the support and service contracts? And once we get to the top of the elevator, how do we go anywhere? Will there be a convenient interstellar taxi available at the top that we can use for a nominal fee? You guys drive me crazy! I prefer a nuclear engine that will not only get us to orbit but will also allow us to visit YOUR planet. And when we get there, we'll be looking for real esate. Merry Christmas!

    3. Trust me Rich, you do want to visit my planet, as an anthropologist I am capable of tolerating humans but the humans we have brought back to the home planet are not given the freedom of travel.As for real estate we certainly do not accept currency backed up by the full faith and credit of any government, even our own, and every inhabitant of our planet is provided 40 acres and an 850 square feet of housing. We also have a companion class of assistants that you'd call comfortable peasants that are the offspring of former earthlings. They grow our organic food, and each have 200 square foot housing units. Their lifespan is now uo to around 110-130 years ( after eight generations) due to our higher percentage of oxygen in our atmosphere, lower CO2 levels, and extremely low levels of pollution. Our life span is 550-900 years, human appendixs (LoL) do not yet function.

      My flight here took 85 years, and that does not include the twelve years I spent rejuvenating on our six other seeded planets that we have been helping along. Due to your shorter life span it is not worth the journey, but we'd have loved to have you.

      To answer your question about getting around once in orbit, the first generation of elevators would each have an orbital community at the other end, there really is not much of a need to travel from there until these orbital industrial parks build spacecraft to go on to mine asteroids and explore, but there are so many productive ventures that can be conducted in orbit it may be best to finance exploration with the financial rewards of the orbital community.

      Fix things on earth first before polluting space with uranium engines. One very profitable venture that would pay your way is the massive collection of solar energy, providing marketable power for earth and used to manufacture high energy products. Within two years it is unlikely that silicon Chips will be made on earth- too many advantages in orbit,

      No long term contracts- your money has no value, and although we'd love to have all that water that is melting and wasting away into the Icean from Greenland, but earth does not belong to the Galactic Trade Organization and until that times the tariffs make it unprofitable.

      You have the material already to build the tether( carbon fiber), and as you proceed you will realize that you can avoid your concerns of weight with a chain of massive helium gas stations as you venture forward. I said it was safer and less expensive, I did not say it was quicker. It is refered to as a space elevator, but what you are going to end up with will be more like a stairway to the heavens. You'll figure it out.

      When you guys figure out how to magnetize lasers, you will be able to build something more like an elevator with what is essentially a magnetic laser tether/ shaft, and a triangle of three box cars carries water and other raw material up and returns with products more perfectly created in the vacuum of space. And yes, your the magnolasers, something that may take 15-20 years to develop will be powered from above and deliver almost more energy than you'll be able to use on earth.

      Long term contracts. Ha. We'd love to buy your thorium, but we are not allowed to exploit you in that way. You still use uranium for energy because of your weapons production, but save your uranium and make your power with thorium reactors. TRUST me. It'll take 40 years before you will make most of your power in orbit, but until then use thorium to power the planet. If you use even a third of the rest of your fossil fuels you will suffer a loss of life almost as bad as an all out nuclear war. You will run out of people before you run out of crude oil.

      And just as your women live diamonds, your wisest humans will appreciate the true value of C-60, aka Buckminsterfullerine.

      Merry Christmas to All.

      Uncle Martin

    4. (p.s.) oh my I forgot. Don't be telling the other humans about the elevator bringing virtually free solar energy to earth, or those Republicans will never allow it. And tell them the Thorium reactors are for space travel- they won't go for thorium reactors on earth for the same reasons.

  3. I was kind of disappointed that the launch was scrubbed today, but it should go up tomorrow. It's a very exciting time for NASA and the Space Coast residents of Florida.

    Go USA

  4. Great launch this morning! We're on our way back to being the leader of space exploration. The men and women of NASA did a great job.
    Now we wait for the reentry later this morning. I'm confident!

  5. WOW ! Splash down of the Orion in the Pacific. Great job NASA, ULA and the other collaborators on the combined private/government venture.

    Great to see the 24 hour news channels cover the take off and splash down. Nice to see good news for a change!


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