Florida: NASA’s new moon rocket on Wednesday blasted off on its debut flight with three test dummies aboard, bringing the US a big step closer to putting astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the end of the Apollo programme 50 years ago.
If all goes well during the three-week, make-or-break shakedown flight, the crew capsule will be propelled into a wide orbit around the moon and then return to Earth with a Pacific splashdown in December.
After years of delays and billions in cost overruns, the Space Launch System rocket thundered skyward, rising from Kennedy Space Centre on 8.8 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of thrust and hitting 100 mph (160 kph) within seconds. The Orion capsule was perched on top and, less than two hours into the flight, busted out of Earth’s orbit toward the moon.
Source: Times Of Oman