We reported yesterday that NASA had a few problems launching its Orion space craft on its maiden flight, but not so today.

We have liftoff:

NBC reports on the importance Orion’s flight today:

NASA and its commercial partners are designing Orion to take astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid in the 2020s, and to Mars and its moons in the 2030s. For that reason, NASA portrays Friday’s 4.5-hour test flight as a first step toward deep-space exploration. The mission is known as Exploration Flight Test 1, or EFT-1.

More great photos of the launch:

Here’s video:

Orion is currently in orbit and is scheduled to return to Earth later this morning:

And Tweeter are pretty excited at NASA’s success today:

Now, let’s hope for a successful splashdown as well.

Related:

Tweeters help troubleshoot the Orion rocket launch: ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’

 

Tags: NASAOrion