"A new era of American space exploration"- Mission Control Houston
Yesterday at 7: 05 a.m. EST the NASA spacecraft Orion successfully launched and eventually soared as high as 3,600 miles above the Earth. It was an unmanned capsule that is an important step in the campaign to eventually take a crew of humans to Mars.
"A human-rated system hasn't gone that far since 1972. ... That reminded us that here we are again, now, the United States leading exploration out into the solar system."Mark Geyer, Program Manager
Here is an HD video of the launch of Orion's maiden voyage into space.
For a longer, lower quality video of Orion's launch and its ascent to its preliminary orbit above the earth, click here. And here is a Redditor's GIF timelapse of the spacecraft's path.
The capsule eventually faced speeds up to 20,000 miles during the successful reentry of Earth's atmosphere, and subsequent landing in the Pacific Ocean.