Mission to Mars

NASA Is Launching a Spacecraft That Will Take Humans to Mars

A test flight of NASA's Orion capsule this week is meant to demonstrate that the technical expertise needed to send humans to Mars is in hand
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Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Photographer: Kim Shiflett/NASA

NASA is launching its boldest test flight in decades this week. An unmanned capsule will head off on Thursday to reach a distance of 3,600 miles from Earth—the farthest space mission with a craft designed to accommodate humans since the final Apollo 17 trip to the moon in 1972.

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