NASA's deep space capsule Orion completed its first flight test this morning, launching at 7:05 a.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean about four-and-a-half hours later, at 11:29 a.m. EST.
The stunning video above details the unmanned craft's launch and ascendence through Earth's atmosphere into space.
Orion is designed to eventually take humans farther from Earth than they've ever been, to explore asteroids past the Moon and to Mars. On average, Mars is about 140 million miles from Earth, nearly 600 times the distance to the Moon.
The NASA team (and space enthusiasts the world over) are very excited about this first successful flight. Even the Curiosity Rover on Mars tweeted its congratulations.
NASA's also posted a video to describe the potential of the Orion project to explore other worlds.