Orion Preparation On Track For Dec. 4 Launch
By NASA // November 28, 2014
Mobile Servicing Tower doors opened recently
ABOVE VIDEO: NASA’s newest spacecraft, Orion, will be launching into space for the first time in December 2014, on a flight that will take it farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years and through temperatures twice as hot as molten lava to put its critical systems to the test.
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FLORIDA – The processing of Orion and its United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket remains on course for a launch Thursday, Dec. 4, on the first flight test of the spacecraft design.
Working at Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, technicians and engineers are conducting a series of electrical and battery checks between the connections between the crew module, service module and Delta IV Heavy second stage.
The processing schedule also leaves room for more testing on Orion and its system if needed without impacting the launch schedule.
Orion will continue the Space Age tradition of taking mementos with it that will become treasured inspirations after the spacecraft returns from evaluating its systems high above Earth.
Find out what makes mementos ranging from patches and pins to Sesame Street items inspirational cargo for this flight at Go.nasa.gov/1uWWnf4
ABOVE VIDEO: Watch Orion’s first fight test unfold on NASA Television December 4, 2014. Orion is in the final stages of preparation for the uncrewed flight test that will take it 3,600 miles above Earth on a 4.5-hour mission to test many of the systems necessary for future human missions into deep space. After two orbits, Orion will reenter Earth’s atmosphere at almost 20,000 miles per hour, and reach temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit before its parachute system deploys to slow the spacecraft for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
The doors of the Mobile Servicing Tower were opened recently at Space Launch Complex 37 to reveal the Orion spacecraft atop the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry the spacecraft into orbit.
Orion’s crew module is underneath the Launch Abort System and nose fairing, both of which will jettison about six minutes, 20 seconds after launch.
The tower will be rolled away from the rocket and spacecraft 8 hours, 15 minutes before launch to allow the rocket to be fueled and for other launch operations to proceed Dec. 4.