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NASA Releases Mesmerizing Video of Orion’s Landmark Test Flight

by Brandon Russell | December 20, 2014December 20, 2014 9:00 am PST

Earlier this month, NASA took a big step toward its journey to Mars, proving that its Orion spacecraft is up for the daunting journey. The agency has released a new ten-minute video that shows Orion’s thrilling re-entry, which subjected the craft to 4,000 degree temperatures and speeds of over 20,000 mph. It’s an incredible video, and is a perfect example of why scientists are so fascinated by the mysteries of space.

The first few minutes look like the opening sequence to a Hollywood movie, with a closeup shot of a pink blaze slowly simmering to reveal the Earth below. The journey is absolutely dizzying, but combined with the soothing music and wide shots, it’s both beautiful and relaxing. It reminds me of the recent A Night Under No Man’s Sky spectacle at PSX. It’s incredible to see the vast blackness of space slowly fade to blue as Orion races toward its destination. If you want to start your weekend off filled with wonderment, look no further than the video above.

While Orion flew with nobody onboard earlier this month, NASA plans to use the spacecraft to eventually shuttle people to Mars. The video just so happens to show what the view would be like from an astronaut’s point of view. NASA says the video begins just as Orion was entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Peak heating from the friction caused by the atmosphere rubbing against Orion’s heat shield comes less than two minutes later, and the footage shows the plasma created by the interaction change from white to yellow to lavender to magenta as the temperature increased,” NASA wrote in the video’s description.

As you can see, the last ten minutes of Orion’s journey was flawless, showing what an incredible achievement the test flight was. If you can spare the time, I’d definitely recommend watching the entire video from beginning to end. You won’t regret it.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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