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The Sciences

Visual Science: The Rocket That Could Save Astronauts' Lives

NASA's Orion space capsule features a new escape clause.

By Jennifer BaroneFebruary 15, 2009 6:00 AM
orion.jpg
Image courtesy of NASA/ATK Launch Systems | NULL

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THE MOMENT: The launch abort motor for the Orion space capsule spews 100-foot flames from its four exhaust nozzles in a successful test firing in Promontory, Utah. Orion, NASA’s next-generation crew vehicle, is slated to carry astronauts to the International Space Station in 2015, to the moon by 2020, and eventually to Mars. In an emergency, the launch abort motor would thrust the crew capsule away from the Ares I rocket.

THE SHOT: This photo was taken in November 2008 with a Nikon D300 installed at the test site with an 18–135mm lens, f/16, 1/1,000 second.

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