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NASA test flight still on track despite accidents

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Orion spacecraft. A NASA photo

CAPE CANAVERAL (AP): NASA's biggest test flight in years remains on track for next month, despite last week's space-related accidents.

Officials on Thursday said everything looks good for the December 4 launch of NASA's new Orion capsule. This one will not carry a crew. Future Orions are meant to carry astronauts on missions of deep-space exploration.

The spacecraft will blast off atop a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The brief flight will send it 5,800 kilometers into space before parachuting into the Pacific.

William Hill, who helps run exploration systems development for NASA, says the test flight systems have nothing in common with either the Orbital Sciences rocket that blew up at liftoff on October 28 or the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two destroyed in flight last Friday.

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NASA  Space  Orion  Astronaut  
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