After a decade of development, NASA's £620 million 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 fueled and integrated with the launch abort system, then transferred again to be mounted atop a Delta IV rocket for its maiden, 3,600-mile test flight in December. And should the module successfully endure the 20,000 MPH re-entry speeds and the 2,204 degree C temperatures they produce, we'll be ushering in a new era of space travel by New Years! [NASA]
Image Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak