With just six months until its first trip to space, NASA’s Orion spacecraft continues taking shape at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
All the superlatives associated with Orion’s first mission this year – farthest a spacecraft for humans has gone in 40 years, largest heat shield, safest vehicle ever built – can be dazzling, no doubt. But the reason engineers are chomping at the bit for Orion’s first mission is the promise of crucial flight test data that can be applied to the design for future missions.
More than 30,000 K-12 students worldwide have registered to take the Exploration Design Challenge so they can fly their name in space on Orion’s first flight – Exploration Flight Test-1. You can join the mission too, but completing the challenge by June 30!
NASA and ATK are one step closer to meeting a 2017 launch date for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) after completion of a significant structural test of the booster’s main attachment mechanism. NASA is developing SLS to take humans farther into deep space than ever before.
In just a matter of months, NASA will send its new human-rated spacecraft into space for the first time. And back here on the ground, Mission Control Center in Houston will be at the helm for Exploration Flight Test-1
SLS will have the largest cryogenic fuel tanks ever used on a rocket. Stands to test the tanks and other hardware to ensure that these huge structures can withstand the incredible stresses of launch will be built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.