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NASA Says Orion Spacecraft Test Was the 'Most Perfect it Could Imagine'

Watch the launch here.
December 5, 2014, 12:08pm
​Image NASA

​Just minutes ago, at 7:05 AM, NASA launched Orion,  ​its long-awaited new spaceship, aboard a DeltaIV rocket. So far, everything is looking perfect on its two-hour test journey, with mission control saying liftoff went smoothly and without problems.

The uncrewed mission is the first time the agency has tested Orion, which is expected to orbit the Earth twice before eventually landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

"Everything going extremely well," mission control said seven minutes after liftoff, after the ship jettisoned its launch abort equipment, which was considered an important launch milestone.

We'll be updating this post as the test goes, because the ship is in space like, right now, but here are some GIFs of the launch.

Update, 11:35 AM: Orion has splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after reaching a peak altitude of 3,604 miles above Earth and orbiting it twice. Its heat shield worked, its radiation shield worked right, everything worked right.

"It turned out to be the most perfect flight you could ever imagine for a vehicle being first tested," NASA mission control said. "Every single system on this spacecraft functioned by the book, from start to finish."

"This is a significant milestone for America's space program," mission control added.