NASA to Launch Orion for its First Test Flight on December 4

NASA to Launch Orion for its First Test Flight on December 4

NASA is planning to launch the Orion Spacecraft for its first flight into space. The test flight holds significant importance from the perspective of future Mars mission. Orion is currently sitting on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. NASA is making efforts to prepare Orion for collecting the data required to launch human beings to Mars in the coming decades.

The launch of Orion spacecraft is scheduled for December 4, 2014. A resupply spacecraft exploded seconds after liftoff a couple of weeks ago. And NASA wants to make sure such a disaster does not repeat itself in December when Orion leaves for Earth's orbit.

Manned Mars mission is still a decade away, but it is very important to collect data from the Orion's maiden voyage to put it into use for sending humans to Mars.

Orion spacecraft recently reached its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida and joined the Delta IV rocket that will carry it into the orbit on December 4.

NASA will conduct power tests on coming weeks to ensure that the interfaces between both Orion and Delta IV rocket are working in tandem well before they are sent into space.

The duration of the flight will account for four and a half hours. Soon after Delta IV takes Orion into space, it will separate and orbit the earth twice at a distance of 3,600 miles. The capsule will then re-enter earth's atmosphere and land in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

Orion's test launch has a lot to do with Colorado's 400 space-related companies, where about 170,000 employees work, said Jay Lindell, who is called the Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion within Colorado's Office of Economic Development.

"The demands of the commercial sector are growing with satellite communications, telecommunications and so forth, and I see a lot of our industry growth in that direction", said Lindell.


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