The Orion space capsule that launched earlier today has been under development by NASA since the mid-2000s. But, watching it splash down in the Pacific ocean four hours later, you'd be forgiven for thinking of the 1970s. The capsule, which by some reliable estimates cost over $10 billion, didn’t accomplish anything that wasn’t somewhat routine for NASA in the era of the Apollo moon landings.
NASA, however, is encouraging a very different view. Rather than admit Orion's many shortcomings, it has boldly promoted the mission as the first step in America’s journey to Mars -- or, as NASA tweets it, America's #JourneyToMars.