photos

Orion (spacecraft)

A NASA Orion spacecraft lifts off from pad 46 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This launch is for a test of the capsule's launch abort system (LAS), which is a rocket-powered tower on top of the crew module built to very quickly get astronauts safely away from their launch vehicle if there is a problem during ascent.

AP/PTI

The Orion test capsule, bottom left, and a Minotaur 4 booster rocket, center, fall to the Earth as NASA conducted a full-stress launch abort test in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the capsule designed to carry astronauts to the moon The capsule was empty for the morning demo, which officials said appeared to be successful.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP