Orion Spacecraft Reaches Launch Complex 37

By  //  November 12, 2014

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spacecraft to be joined with Delta IV Heavy rocket

ABOVE VIDEO: NASA officials give a briefing on Monday about the Orion EFT-1 spacecraft rollout to the launch pad.

The Orion spacecraft reached Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:07 a.m. on Wednesday morning, to conclude its journey from the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center that began at 8:54 p.m. (NASA image)

The Orion spacecraft reached Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:07 a.m. on Wednesday morning, to conclude its journey from the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center that began at 8:54 p.m. (NASA image)

NASA – The Orion spacecraft reached Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:07 a.m. on Wednesday morning, to conclude its journey from the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center that began at 8:54 p.m.

Engineers and technicians at Space Launch Complex 37 moved Orion into place in the service structure, so the spacecraft can be lifted and joined to the top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket. Orion will launch on its first flight test Dec. 4.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Tuesday, Nov. 11

Orion 6-Hour Rollout Set For Tuesday Night At the Cape

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION – The Orion spacecraft is ready to begin the final leg of its prelaunch journey with an overnight rollout from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Abort System Facility to Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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The Orion spacecraft is ready to begin the final leg of its prelaunch journey with an overnight rollout from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Abort System Facility to Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (NASA image)

Weather conditions at the Florida spaceport have improved significantly since yesterday evening, when winds and the threat of lightning violated safety rules and kept the spacecraft indoors one more night.

The six-hour journey to the launch pad is planned to begin at about 8:30 p.m.

Orion is expected to arrive at the launch complex around 2 a.m. It will then be lifted into place and attached atop the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Monday, Nov. 10

Weather Postpones Orion’s Move By 24 Hours

Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have jointly decided to postpone by 24 hours the move of the Orion spacecraft from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Abort System Facility to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37.

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Orion will not carry a crew during this first flight test, but will be sent into orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. (NASA image)

The forecast Monday evening calls for winds and lightning that violate the constraints established for safely moving Orion.

The delay will not affect the planned Dec. 4 launch of Orion atop a ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Orion will not carry a crew during this first flight test, but will be sent into orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.

It will make two orbits of the Earth reaching out about 3,600 miles, 15 times farther than the International Space Station.

In a critical element of the test mission, the spacecraft will head into Earth’s atmosphere at high speed to evaluate Orion’s heat shield.

That is important because the Orion is designed to take astronauts into deep space on missions to asteroids and eventually Mars.

Returning to Earth on such missions means the spacecraft will reenter the atmosphere much faster than previous spacecraft, so the Orion will encounter more heat and thus its shielding will need to be strong enough to handle it.

ABOVE VIDEO: Mike Sarafin, NASA’s lead Orion flight director, narrates animation depicting the Exploration Flight Test 1 from liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.


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