Thursday, September 11, 2014
NASA moves Orion spacecraft to begin fueling for test flight
Thursday, NASA marked a big milestone by moving the spacecraft from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Payload Hazardous Serving Facility, where it will be fueled.
Inside the ONC, Lockheed Martin employees have been building the spacecraft, which will eventually send NASA astronauts to deep space.
This first test flight in December will be unmanned, but it will send Orion 3,600 miles above Earth.
The mission will test Orion's heat shield in 4,000-degree temperatures, traveling 20,000 miles per hour through the atmosphere.
Thursday's move signifies the completion of the crew and service module.
As it moves into the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, Orion will be fueled with ammonia and hyper-propellants for the first test flight.
NASA is targeting Dec. 4 to launch Orion on a Delta IV rocket.
The agency’s administrator said the launch will be the biggest milestone for NASA this year. He is also expecting large crowds to show up for launch.