Check out the video of the completely successful - and awesome - Orion Launch Abort System test. Hey NASA, next time you conduct one of these tests, give me a call. I'll sign any papers you want, but I want this ride:
The 97-second full test of Orion's Launch Abort System - which was already budgeted before Obama's space plan - was conducted on May 6. At 9am EDT, the abort motor accelerated the Orion crew vehicle with half-million pounds of trust for six seconds. In the first three seconds, the crew module reached 716km/h. Three seconds later, it was flying at 867km/h, 2km above the US Army's White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, the largest military installation in the United States at 8300sqkm.
At that time, the attitude control engine kicked in, reorienting the craft using eight thrusters with 3175kg of thrust. When the angle was correct, the jettison motor ejected the launch abort system, leaving the crew module clear for parachute deployment. A few seconds later, the spacecraft touched ground at 7.3 metres per second.