Credit: NASA

Photos released last week show the remains of NASA's next-generation spacecraft, which made a hard landing after a critical parachute system failed to deploy properly.

A mock-up of the Orion crew vehicle slammed into the US Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona on 31 July after it "dropped faster than intended", the agency said (pictured). The Orion capsule is set to replace the space shuttle, which is due to retire in 2010. A report released 21 August by the US National Academy of Sciences warned that only 5 of NASA's 22 lunar research projects are on track and risk-free.