Test Launch Marks New Phase for NASA
An early test version of NASA’s Orion crew capsule launched from Cape Canaveral on Friday and splashed down in the Pacific four-and-a-half hours later—a flight a NASA spokesman called “picture perfect.” The test launch was designed to examine how the craft handles the forces of launch and re-entry. While NASA has said the craft marks an important step towards exploration beyond Earth, some critics have challenged Orion’s usefulness. Eric Berger, a science reporter for the Houston Chronicle, discusses the test launch and the changing landscape of the spaceflight industry in his series of articles titled “Adrift.”
Eric Berger is Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica. He’s based in Houston, Texas.