NASA's Orion spacecraft arrives in San Diego, California after being carried by ship after its ocean landing. Nathan Frandino reports.
The NASA Orion spacecraft is back on land. Crews in San Diego hauled the capsule on shore Monday night three days after its flawless, unmanned debut test flight around Earth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUNITA WILLIAMS, NASA ASTRONAUT, SAYING: "This proves a whole lot of different things for us. It's going to give us a whole lot of data to create the next generation of spacecraft, similar to this one, that's going to take humans farther than Earth's orbit. This was a needed stepping stone." The capsule is designed to one day take astronauts to Mars. NASA launched Orion from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Friday. This $375 million flight was to verify that Orion's heat shield, parachutes, avionics and other equipment would work as designed. The capsule made a near-bullseye splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, where the USS Anchorage picked up the ship and brought it back. NASA officials say they've got great momentum. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY GRAEBER, NASA RECOVERY DIRECTOR, SAYING: "It set us up on a great foot moving forward. We've got many great things in the next few years and having a great success under our belts just proves that this team really knows how to get this work done and we're ready to take on big challenges." Orion will make a second test flight in about four years. A third mission - planned for 2021 - will include two astronauts on a flight around the moon.