Wednesday, June 20, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- NASA's Orion Program hosted an employee recognition event for the Michoud Assembly Facility Orion team members to coincide with a milestone. The NASA team has been putting the finishing touches on the first space-bound Orion capsule. They completed the Orion pathfinder weld, essentially a practice operation, in preparation for the final weld. Then the team will do final inspections before preparing the capsule for its move to Florida's Kennedy Space Center at the end of June for final assembly and checkout. NASA's unmanned Exploration Flight Test-1 is scheduled for 2014. The first Orion spacecraft will be launched atop a Delta IV rocket operated by United Launch Alliance. The mission will take Orion to an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, more than 15 times farther away from Earth than the International Space Station. (Source: NASA, 06/20/12) Stennis Space Center, Miss., tests the engines that will be used in the Space Launch System, the rocket that will be used for future Orion missions.