On December 05, 2014 at 16:28 UTC the “Orion” capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 275 miles off the coast of Baja California and some 630 miles south of San Diego. The mission involved Orion making two orbits of the planet during a four and a half hour mission that ended with the spacecraft’s recovery in the Pacific Ocean. Reaching a maximum altitude of 5,790 kilometres the mission tested separation mechanisms, demonstrated Orion’s Crew Module in orbit and proved that the spacecraft can withstand atmospheric reentry and be recovered successfully.
Over three years after Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down at the end of STS-135, The launch was a major milestone for NASA as it works to reestablish America’s manned space program.
Orion is designed to carry up to four astronauts into space and return them safely to Earth. When operational it will ride NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) into orbit.