Re-Entering Earth's Atmosphere Is a Brutal, Beautiful Ride

Footage from the Orion spacecraft's recent return-trip to Earth is terrifying and fully amazing.

Michael Byrne

Michael Byrne

​NASA's Orion spacecraft did not in fact burn up on re-entry during its Dec. 5 test-flight. Orion, the space agency's next-generation crew transport, was in orbit for around four hours and two complete orbits before splashing down in the Pacific. It did quite well, in fact, but the footage below of the craft's critical 10 minute return-trip gives new definition to the extremities involved in returning home. 

It's weird how something so intense and violent can also be this eerie.  

The soundtrack really helps.