View the Launch of Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 on Thursday

You can watch launch day coverage on NASA TV or online on the agency’s website at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv and on mobile devices at http://mobile.nasa.gov

This is really awesome!

 

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/orionfirstflight/

 

Orion’s EFT-1 launch is the next step in NASA’s journey to Mars. Orion is NASA’s new spacecraft built to carry astronauts to destinations never before visited by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. On this uncrewed test flight, Orion will test systems critical to crew safety, including the heat shield, parachutes, avionics and attitude control, as it travels farther into space than any spacecraft built for humans has traveled in more than 40 years.

Orion is scheduled to liftoff at 7:05 a.m., from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. During its two-orbit, 4.5 hour flight test, Orion will travel 3,600 miles beyond Earth. From this distance, Orion will return through Earth’s atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph, generating temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its heat shield. Orion will land in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 600 miles off the coast of Baja California. It will be recovered by a combined NASA and U.S. Navy team that will attach Orion to cables that will pull it into the flooded well deck of the USS Anchorage.