After a series of cancelled launches yesterday, Orion's first test flight launched smoothly at 7:05AM ET. It attained low Earth orbit at 7:30AM, and reached an apogee of 3,600 miles from the Earth. That's the farthest any capsule designed for a crew has been since the Apollo mission. Orion re-entered the atmosphere at a screaming 20,000 miles per hour, before its 11 parachutes deployed to slow the craft to 20 miles per hour — the speed at which it hit the water in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California. Here are some of the photos from its 4 hour and 24 minute flight.
"It turned out to be the most perfect flight you could imagine," said Rob Navias, NASA TV commentator, after Orion landed in the Pacific Ocean.