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NASA mulls putting astronauts on deep space test flight

MIAMI: The US space agency said it is considering putting astronauts on an upcoming test flight of the deep space capsule Orion as it aims to orbit the Moon. Orion is being built with an eye to one day ferrying astronauts to Earth's neighboring planet, Mars, perhaps by the 2030s. Until now, the Orion test flight known as Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) was scheduled for 2018 and was expected to be unmanned. But NASA's acting administrator Robert Lightfoot asked on February 15 for the space agency to study the feasibility of…