NASA finishes building its Mars-bound Orion spacecraft
Humanity is one step closer to reaching Mars. NASA finished up its Orion Spacecraft Thursday, and it’s preparing for a test flight on Dec. 4. When Orion launches in December, aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket, it will complete a 4.5-hour, two-orbit test flight.
VIDEO – Students Can: Send Your Name on NASA’s Voyage to Mars
Build an Orion of Your Own – You can download and print out a paper model of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft and have it ready in time for the first flight test of the actual spacecraft!
The flight will really put Orion to the test. NASA says the spacecraft will return to Earth at speeds of more than 20,000 mph. Those speeds will generate temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the agency says.
In future, missions Orion will be used as part of NASA’s Space Launch System, the world’s most powerful rocket. The SLS will be the vehicle of choice to take astronauts to an asteroid and on to Mars.