Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Orion set to launch Thursday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA will launch an unmanned Orion space capsule Thursday, weather permitting, on two orbits of Earth in the first space test of the deep-space vehicle. The vehicle will be launched by a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket, which is substituting for the still-being-developed NASA Space Launch System. The flight, which will take the capsule 3,600 miles out into space, will splash down some four hours later in the Pacific off the California and Mexico’s Baja coast. Orion will be recovered by Navy ships. (Sources: multiple, including al.com, Fox News, 12/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin built the capsule at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans; the Delta IV, built in Decatur, Ala., is powered by RS-68 engines tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.