Orion Launch Scrubbed, Next Window 7:05 a.m. Friday

By  //  December 4, 2014

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ABOVE LIVESTREAM: Watch the Orion launch live beginning at 4:30 a.m., the launch at 7:05 a.m. and then enjoy all the expert commentary from NASA TV until splashdown at 11:29 a.m. EST.

UPDATE: Today’s planned launch of is postponed due to valve issue. The next possible launch window opens at 7:05 a.m. ET Friday

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The countdown is on for Thursday’s 7:05 a.m. EST launch of NASA’s new human spacecraft, Orion, on its first voyage to space.

Lifting off aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket, the un-crewed Orion will orbit 3,600 miles above Earth before splashing down in the Pacific.

Meteorologists upgraded their outlook to a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions. Orion is designed to carry astronauts on exploration missions into deep space, including a trip to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

The December flight test will send the uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a two-orbit flight to test critical systems for the challenges of deep space missions.

During the 4.5-hour flight, Orion will travel farther than any crewed spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years, before reentering Earth’s atmosphere at speeds near 20,000 mph and generating temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Orion Launch Weather Forecast Improves To 70 PercentRelated Story:
Orion Launch Weather Forecast Improves To 70 Percent

Orion will land in the Pacific Ocean where the U.S. Navy and NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program will recover the spacecraft.

BELOW VIDEO: Orion’s journey to the pad for its first flight test began about two years ago, when the vehicle first arrived at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Inside this building, the Orion team of NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians spent countless hours and days building up the spacecraft, putting it through a series of tests, installing the heat shield, stacking it atop the service module, fueling it and installing the Launch Abort System. Then it made the trek to the Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.