NASA unveils new spaceship - WSMV News 4

NASA unveils new spaceship

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ORLANDO, FL (WESH) -

Two years after the final launch, the space shuttle's successor has been built.

NASA is now testing its Orion spaceship at Kennedy Space Center.

Engineers in the operations and checkout building said the new spaceship can carry six astronauts, but its first launch will be unmanned in a little more than one year.

That's why engineers are already testing everything -- from its parachutes, to its abort system that could save future astronauts, something the shuttle couldn't do.

In 2017, another new arrival will be introduced. NASA's mega-rocket, the biggest ever built, will be able to carry Orion to even greater heights.

NASA has also set 2017 as its goal for shorter-range launches to the space station.  These will be made by private companies in ship designs that range from capsule to space plane.

Those launched will be the first manned launches from the Space Coast since 2011.

NASA officials said everything is on schedule, but any funding cuts could delay them.

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