Watch: NASA’s Orion spacecraft on trial by fire

Going home: the Orion spacecraft on its route back to Earth, a screengrab from the movie as presented by NASA.
Going home: the Orion spacecraft on its route back to Earth, a screengrab from the movie as presented by NASA.

As the flight test of United States’ NASA Orion spacecraft nears, a new video — called “Trial By Fire” — details the spacecraft’s test and the critical systems engineers will evaluate during the Dec. 4 flight.

Orion is in the final stages of preparation for the unmanned (uncrewed) flight test that will take it 3,600 miles above Earth on a 4.5-hour mission to test many of the systems necessary for future human missions into deep space.

NASA’s newest spacecraft will be launching into space for the first time in December 2014, on a flight that will take it farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years and through temperatures twice as hot as molten lava to put its critical systems to the test. (Text and video courtesy of NASA.)

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