Monday, September 29, 2014

Orion-boosting rocket assembled

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. – Assembly of the Delta IV rocket that will boost the Orion crew capsule on its maiden test flight in December has been completed. The Orion, without a crew, is slated to launch on Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in December atop the United Launch Alliance Delta IV. Orion is NASA’s spaceship designed to carry a crew further into space than ever before. Engineers from ULA recently completed the integration of the three primary core elements of the rockets first stage with the single engine upper stage. All of the rocket integration work and preflight processing took place inside ULA's Horizontal Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The Delta IV will be rolled out to SLC-37 launch pad this week. Orion eventually will be boosted into space by NASA's Space Launch System. (Sources: NASA, 09/25/14, Universe Today, 09/28/14) Gulf Coast note: The space-bound Orion was built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, which is also building the core stage of the SLS; the RS-68 engines that will power the Delta IV core boosters are assembled and tested by Rocketdyne at Stennis Space Center, Miss., which will also test the RS-25 engines that will power the core stage of SLS.