NASA is a step closer to Mars

NASA's Orion capsule flew farther from Earth than any craft designed for human flight since the Apollo 17 mission to the moon in 1972. NASA hopes to take its first human crew into space in 2021.
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The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying NASA's first Orion deep space exploration craft takes off from its launchpad on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The heavy-lift rocket will boost the unmanned Orion capsule to an altitude of 3,600 miles, and returning for a splashdown west of Baja California after a four and half hour flight. (Getty Images)
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In this handout provided by NASA,The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 at 7:05 a.m. EST on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Orion spacecraft orbited Earth twice, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above Earth before landing. (NASA via Getty Images)
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The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying NASA's first Orion deep space exploration craft takes off from its launchpad on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The heavy-lift rocket will boost the unmanned Orion capsule to an altitude of 3,600 miles, and returning for a splashdown west of Baja California after a four and half hour flight. (Getty Images)
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The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying NASA's first Orion deep space exploration craft takes off from the launch pad on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The heavy-lift rocket will boost the unmanned Orion capsule to an altitude of 3,600 miles, and returning for a splashdown west of Baja California after a four and half hour flight. (Getty Images)
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The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying NASA's first Orion deep space exploration craft takes off on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The heavy-lift rocket will boost the unmanned Orion capsule to an altitude of 3,600 miles, and returning for a splashdown west of Baja California after a four and half hour flight. (Getty Images)
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In this handout provided by NASA, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (L), NASA Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate William Gerstenmaier, and others in Building AE at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, react as they watch the Orion spacecraft splash down in the Pacific Ocean a more than three hours after launching onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 37 on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Orion spacecraft orbited Earth twice, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above Earth before landing. (NASA via Getty Images)
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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and his wife Jackie Bolden watch as the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 on December 5, 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The heavy-lift rocket is prepared for a 7:05 launch tomorrow morning and it will boost the unmanned Orion capsule to an altitude of 3,600 miles, and returning for a splashdown west of Baja California after a four and half hour flight. (NASA via Getty Images)
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