NASA to Test Orion Spacecraft

NASA hopes to run a test launch of the new Orion capsule tomorrow morning, at least as long as conditions are right for a launch. The unmanned test will take the capsule far beyond the low Earth orbit where the ISS and the space shuttles operated. After testing, there are preliminary plans for several missions that could use Orion. Among these are a possible flyby of a captured asteroid and also (hopefully) even the first manned mission to Mars, or at least some testing needed for such a mission.

Reportedly, Orion is basically a more advanced equivalent to the old Apollo capsule used to land on the moon. Hopefully, everything will go well with this test so we can get closer to a return to long-distance spaceflight.