Launch Conductor Scott Barney reports Orion and the Delta IV Heavy are go for liftoff on time at 7:05 a.m. EST.
Orion is now operating on its own battery power.
We remain on course for liftoff at 7:05 a.m. EST. The countdown remains in its planned hold for another six minutes.
Lead Flight Director Mike Sarafin polled his team at Mission Control in Houston and reports the team is “go” for today’s launch of the Orion Flight Test. The launch conductor here in Florida will conduct his poll shortly.
The countdown has paused as planned for 15 minutes so the launch and flight teams can perform their final polls and checks before moving into the last phase of the countdown. Everything is on track for a 7:05 a.m. EST launch.
Anyone who has watched coverage of the launch of a robotic or observatory has heard the voice of Steve Agid of the United Launch Alliance. He is the authoritative voice of telemetry who calls speed, distance, altitude and operational conditions as the rocket reports them to the ground. Combined with the expert launch and mission commentary on NASA TV, Agid’s precise data and context help paint a complete launch picture for our audience. We mention all this today because the Orion Flight Test marks the 50th time Agid will be on the mic for a launch.
Weather Officer Kathy Winters reports that conditions at the launch site are currently green. Wind and clouds in the area are being watched, though. The forecast remains 40 percent chance of acceptable conditions for launch time. The launch team remains on track for a liftoff at 7:05 a.m. EST.
“It’s a big day for me, and exciting day for space and, driving up the causeway, looking at all the cars, I think this is a big day for everyone,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden as he followed the progress of today’s countdown for the Orion Flight Test.
The new spacecraft is the first designed to take humans beyond low Earth orbit since the Apollo program that sent astronauts to the moon. After completing the test mission, Orion will have one more test flight ahead of it in 2018 before it begins to carry astronauts on missions to deep space.