After a decade of development, NASA's next-generation Orion crew module is finally complete! Now comes the hard part: ensuring that it actually works.
Crews have just its completed construction at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They're now in the process of transferring the Orion to a different on-site facility where it will be fuelled and integrated with the launch abort system, then transferred again to be mounted atop a Delta IV rocket for its maiden, 5793km test flight in December. And should the module successfully endure the 32,000km/h re-entry speeds and the 204C temperatures they produce, we'll be ushering in a new era of space travel by New Years! [NASA]
Picture: NASA/Rad Sinyak