Here, at NASA Langley's Landing and Impact Research Facility, astronauts and engineers are already working to test the flight capabilities of a model that will eventually become the agency's future Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

This photograph shows the model landing in a pool of water after "swinging across the sky," according to NASA, and reaching speeds of up to 50 mph following a traditional "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... release" countdown.

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Image: NASA.