Orion’s Flight Test Rocket Moves to Launch Pad

Courtesy United Launch Alliance

The rocket that will carry an Orion spacecraft into orbit for the first time was moved to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday. Assembled inside the Horizontal Integration Facility adjacent to LC-37, the United Launch Alliance Delta IVHeavy will be lifted into its vertical position later. The Heavy configuration, which is made up of three Delta IV core stages with one RS-68 engine, is one of the strongest rockets available to NASA while the agency builds the Space Launch System.

The Delta IV Heavy will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a two-orbit, four-hour flight around Earth that will culminate with a high-speed entry into the atmosphere to test the heat shield’s ability to withstand return from deep space. Though this flight does not include any astronauts, Orion is being designed to fly people beyond Earth orbit for the first time since the Apollo program that landed astronauts on the moon from 1969 to 1972.


13 thoughts on “Orion’s Flight Test Rocket Moves to Launch Pad”

  1. looking forward to the test flight of orion. i`m a space enthusiasts and take a strong in our nations space program. please keep me posted on the progress of the orion program.

  2. You certainly get to sense the actual size of this rocket when you see people in the picture. Well done and good launching.

  3. I cannot wait to see Orion flying and at last for mankind to leave Earth’s orbit again. My question is about where the astronauts will live during longer missions; I realise the capsule is larger than that of the Apollo program but not enough to want to live in it beyond a week or two?
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  4. Orion,s first mission will bring new goal settings in the deep space mission. I hope Wthin two decades will clear the access to beyand the solar system

  5. I was so inspired by Apollo and Shuttle Missions that I have followed space flight my whole life and have even worked in the industry. Now I sit here with my son Nolan who is 6 years old and I can see the fascination of space in his eyes. We are building the Orion model right now and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world….Thanks for the inspiration NASA.

    Would love to see a cut out model for the Space Launch System as well so Nolan could have the whole system hanging from his bedroom ceiling with his Saturn V and Space Shuttle Enterprise.

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