NASA to Launch Capsule, Small Step Toward Mars Landing
NASA is launching the first capsule since Apollo 17 returned from the moon in 1972 to explore space beyond low Earth orbit and eventually prepare for a Mars landing. Orion, the larger version of the cone-shaped Apollo capsule, will not have anyone aboard and will launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday morning. The 11-foot capsule will reach 3,600 miles above Earth's surface on its second orbit. On its second orbit, Orion will return at speeds up to 20,000 miles per hour and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. The capsule will include items varying from Maya Angelou poems to Cookie Monster's cookie.
By Jordan Moses
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