NASA Launches Orion Space Capsule

December 5, 2014 11:00 AM

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Orion spacecraft streaked into orbit Friday on a high-stakes test flight meant to usher in a new era of human exploration leading ultimately to Mars.

The unmanned orbital journey began with a sunrise liftoff witnessed by thousands of NASA guests. Parts of the spacecraft peeled away exactly as planned, falling back toward Earth as onboard cameras provided stunning views of our blue, cloud-covered planet.

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