From the scuppered launch to successful splashdown: NASA's Orion first test flight in photos
Second time's the charm for America's newest spacecraft
- False start Orion pre-dawn in Cape Canaveral on Dec. 4.
- If at first you don't succeed... Orion's rockets begin firing at take-off on Dec. 5. Liftoff was 7:05, just after sunrise.
- Ready, set... The rockets ignite!
- Separation Orion's onboard camera snaps the separation of the three 13 by 14-foot Orion service module fairings after liftoff
- Blue marble A view of Earth from Orion's first orbit
- Near the top of its ascent A view of Earth from the second loop, as Orion neared its peak distance from the ground
- Another view This photo is taken from inside Orion — the window astronauts may someday use — to peek back at Earth
- Parachutes deployed From another angle: Orion plunges through the clouds with its parachutes slowing it
- Hitting the surface Orion, left, hits the ocean a little east of its planned splashdown point.