Headlines > News > First Space-Bound Orion on Its Way to Kennedy

First Space-Bound Orion on Its Way to Kennedy

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:31 am via: NASA
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A major milestone has been achieved for NASA’s Orion program with the first Orion destined for space being shipped to the Kennedy Space Center. Construction on the spacecraft was finished at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana this week, and final outfitting and heat shield installation will take place at KSC.

This spacecraft will fly on Exploration Flight Test-1, an unmanned test that is scheduled two years from now. The EFT-1 flight will take Orion to an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, more than 15 times farther away from Earth than the International Space Station.

At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana, the first space-bound Orion capsule is packed up for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center for final processing and outfitting. This spacecraft will fly on Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014. Photo credit: NASA

At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana, the first space-bound Orion capsule is packed up for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center for final processing and outfitting. This spacecraft will fly on Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014. Photo credit: NASA

Orion will return home at a speed of 25,000 miles per hour, almost 5,000 miles per hour faster than any human spacecraft. It will mimic the return conditions that astronauts experience as they come home from voyages beyond low Earth orbit. As Orion reenters the atmosphere, it will endure temperatures up to 4,000 degrees F., higher than any human spacecraft since astronauts returned from the moon.

This first Orion will fly atop a Delta IV Heavy, a rocket operated by United Launch Alliance. While this launch vehicle will provide sufficient lift for the EFT-1 flight plan, NASA’s SLS rocket will be needed for the vast distances of future exploration missions.

At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana, the first space-bound Orion capsule is packed up for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center for final processing and outfitting. This spacecraft will fly on Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014. Photo credit: NASA

At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana, the first space-bound Orion capsule is packed up for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center for final processing and outfitting. This spacecraft will fly on Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014. Photo credit: NASA

Following EFT-1, the first integrated flight test will launch an uncrewed Orion on the SLS in 2017. That test will put the entire integrated exploration system through its paces. The Orion spacecraft will have the capability to carry astronauts to the moon, asteroids, Mars and other deep space destinations.

2 Comments
Didn't this project get cancelled?
Nope, just renamed to the cumbersome "MPCV". So not very surprisingly the name "Orion" stuck and I noticed over the last couple of weeks/months, that the usage of MPCV decreased while more and more people started to publicly call it Orion again.
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