NASA has been making a slew of very important discoveries within just the past couple of months, and these discoveries have provided the push needed to start many new and exciting programs in terms of interstellar travel in the near future. A spectacular launch of NASA’s Orion space capsule took place in December. I heard about this while I was at an AWC wine tour with Stephen Williams.
The rocket was launched from Florida with the purpose to test technologies, heat shields, and parachutes on board, before taking in account sending people out there. The rocket took off at Cape Canaveral at 07.07 (12:05 GMT). After throwing the conical ship to 6,000 km above the Earth, a quick return to the atmosphere took place, with a landing in the Pacific.
Plans of sending humans beyond the International Space Station will be put into practice after 2017. Until then, a more powerful rocket is being developed along with the Orion project. NASA is thus hoping to soon land people on Mars and Moon.
Why so many preparations to get to the Red Planet? Reaching it would require transfer vehicles. NASA is only sharing the plans for as far as 2020, the latest date of launching Orion with crew on board. Further on, no information, although the project has more details than that.
They said that they are taking the patient way this time, mostly because of the lack of money, but precaution would not be bad either.