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Deep-space capsule Orion takes off for test flight

Deep-space capsule Orion has launched to embark on an ambitious first test flight as part of a long-term mission to Mars.

The unmanned Orion will journey 3,600 miles above Earth - higher than any spacecraft designed for humans has been for more than 40 years.

Its four hour and 24 minutes flight will test the capsule's main systems, including its heat shield, computer deck and parachutes, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean to be picked up by the US Navy.

Orion spacecraft is 'go for launch' as weather clears

The deep-space capsule Orion is "go for launch" after bad weather that disrupted yesterday's test flight was judged to have cleared up.

The unmanned Orion will make two orbits of Earth during a flight test of four hours and 24 minutes as part of a long term project to send people to Mars by the mid-2030s.


Nasa counts down to launch of deep-space capsule Orion

Nasa's repeat attempt to launch a deep-space capsule for testing as part of a long term mission to Mars is due to take place in less than half an hour.

Bad weather and technical problems halted attempts to get the unmanned Orion off the ground at Cape Canaveral in Florida yesterday.

But Nasa has announced it will try to begin the launch from 12:05 GMT:


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