December 4, 2014 →


In the not-too-distant future, astronauts destined to be the first people to walk on Mars will leave Earth aboard an Orion spacecraft. Carried aloft by the tremendous power of a Space Launch System rocket, our explorers will begin their Journey to Mars from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the spirit of humanity with them to the Red Planet.

The first future human mission to Mars and those that follow will require the ingenuity and dedication of an entire generation. It’s a journey worth the risks. We take the next step on that journey this Thursday, Dec. 4, with the uncrewed, first flight test of Orion.

Thursday is a big milestone on the trip to Mars, which NASA has slated for the 2030s. While the timetable isn’t as accelerated as Apollo’s was, it’s still amazing to imagine watching the news in 15 years and see a human being waving back to Earth from the surface of Mars.

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