We’re pretty far removed from the golden age of American space travel. From putting the first man on the moon, we’ve now graduated to paying Russia–not exactly one of our geopolitical allies–$70 million to take one of our astronauts to the International Space Station.
Perhaps the space program has seen a new dawn, however, in the form of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, launched Friday morning. Here’s video footage of the event, complete with massive balls of fire at launch and the majestic sight of an American rocket soaring towards the heavens.
Orion represents the first step towards human exploration of other planets, like Mars.