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NASA Orion Spacecraft Sent To Colorado For Post-Flight Tests

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DENVER (CBSmiami/AP) — After a successful unmanned test flight in December, NASA's experimental Orion spacecraft has been shipped to Colorado for final decontamination and testing.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, which built the capsule, said Tuesday testing will be done at the company's facilities in Littleton just south of Denver.

The capsule was launched from Florida on Dec. 5, orbited Earth twice and parachuted into the Pacific. It was returned to Kennedy Space Center in Florida afterward.

The capsule's critical heat shield was built in Littleton. Other components were built elsewhere and final assembly was at Kennedy Space Center.

The capsule will be reused around 2017 for a launch abort test. A second unmanned Orion space flight is expected in 2018.

NASA aims to use Orion to send humans to Mars one day.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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