That Orion Thing Is Great!

Watch the Orion test flight:


Why is it great? Well, speaking as a Gemini (not my horoscope sign, but the space program going when I first gained sentience) ...

  • First, it is big, fast, cool looking. It actually looks like a rocket that might have been designed a decade before they ever actually made any rockets. It is almost Deco.
  • Second, they got a guy from the 1960s -- with that slightly, nasal, black and white voice people spoke in back then -- to call the race launch.
  • Third, Orion is really good at taking selfies.
  • Fourth, it didn't take long. The whole thing was like literally tl;dr.
  • Oh, and fifth: It worked! Didn't blow up or anything!

    Apparently, the rocket that shot this unit into space is small compared to the one they'll be using in the future. (More info on the project here.)

    Onward to Mars! Finally!

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    By the way, that scene at about 3:15 and beyond, totally traumatized me as a kid. Especially when the guy said "Close the door" and I realized that sometimes people actually die in movies!!!!

    Fifth, it worked - It sure did! From what I saw it went incredibly smoothly - almost (?) a perfect flight with a few things exceeding expectations. Marvellous news.

    Fourth : Took long enough for me - kept me up till 3 am my time! definitely did read all the graphics & onscreen info though!

    Third good at taking selfies? Check. Absolutely yes.

    Secondly : Agreed. That worked well - although I gather from the NASA fb page that the feed apparently broke up at just the wrong time for some folks. (I missed the actual launch -clicked in to see replays of it thinking it wouldn't be on for awhile and stayed with it till after splashdown. With a a few celebratory beers natch!)

    Firstly : Yup.

    " ..speaking as a Gemini (not my horoscope sign, but the space program going when I first gained sentience) …"

    Good one. My first spacecraft launch witnessed would be the very first Columbia space Shuttle - attempt - stayed up late as a little kid wowed by it all and then they aborted it with a computer glitch.

    So, in my whole lifetime, this is the furthest I have seen a human-capable spacecraft fly. Great is an understatement - as is about time!

    By Astrostevo (not verified) on 05 Dec 2014 #permalink

    Perhaps Americans will begin to get tired of the decline & fall politics of cut-cut-cut, and start thinking in terms of lofty goals once more.

    For those who say "no more space, feed the hungry and house the homeless," the undeniable fact of history is that the cuts in the space program have never been used to alleviate poverty: they have been just more cuts, alongside other cuts, in the "slow death of a thousand cuts."

    In point of fact it has been the lofty goals and the efforts to achieve them, that have lifted up our entire society time and again. The will to achieve those goals strengthens the will to fight poverty, discrimination, and ignorance, lifting up "the least among us" and feeding a "virtuous cycle" of hope and results on all fronts.

    Congratulations to NASA for a successful test of Orion, and may we soon be on our way to the Moon once again, and then to Mars, and some day, beyond.

    @ 5. ^ G : Well said & seconded by me.

    By Astrostevo (not verified) on 06 Dec 2014 #permalink

    Back in the 60's we thought we would have most of the planets colonized by the present time.

    However, we weren't thinking about the internet, high-def TVs and online shopping which in my view are acceptable alternatives.

    By joe laden (not verified) on 09 Dec 2014 #permalink

    God help us (theological reference deliberate;-) if we are being told we should accept the decline in ambitions for space travel, in exchange for more consumer junk.

    So let's all become i-Thing zombies, staring at pocket-pets in our palms as we wander into traffic on the street, burning up finite resources on frivolous entertainments, and foreclosing the future of our distant descendents' option to get the heck out of here before the Sun goes Boom.

    Oww, that makes my head hurt.

    IMHO the greatest benefit of QM to humanity, is that it has forced everyone with a working brain to contemplate deep paradoxes at the heart of reality. That sort of contemplation is one of the most effective ways known, to light an unquenchable fire of curiosity in the minds of the beholders, whereby some of them will seek further knowledge and new discoveries.