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From scrubbed launch to successful splashdown: NASA's Orion test flight in photos

Source NASA TV

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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.

False start


False start
Orion pre-dawn in Cape Canaveral on Dec. 4.