This is going to bug me for the rest of my life, I’m sure.
NASA and the U.S. Air Force recently tested astronaut survival systems for the first time since the space shuttles stopped flying in 2011.
Those tests were part of the agency’s preparations for the first crewed flights of its Orion module, which is designed to carry astronauts out of our immediate neighborhood and toward more exotic destinations like the moonand Mars.
Via Instapundit. It’s not even that I am particularly eager to see us use an Orion Drive*-style orbital launch system on Earth. I’m kind of not, because you shouldn’t have indiscriminate nuclear fission happen in any atmosphere that you’re using. But I grew up with ‘Orion’ meaning something specific, and now it doesn’t. Oh, well. Get off my lawn, I guess?
PS: At least we’re getting back to manned spaceflight again. That’d be nice. And I suppose that I should at least admit that the previous administration wasn’t entirely awful about allowing private space enterprise to develop. And that I was perhaps a little too quick to rush to judgment, there. I might have even been, I don’t know, wrong about American space policy on a couple of occasions.
*Short version: to paraphrase Larry Niven, build a big, thick bowl and light a nuclear bomb underneath it. “I guarantee you that sucker will move.”