Space Launch System (18)


Orion Crew Module Set for Connection to Heat Shield

NASA – At the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the Orion crew module and heat shield are being moved into position for the mating operation. The heat shield will be tested on Orion’s first flight in December, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), an uncrewed flight that will put to the test the spacecraft that will send astronauts to an asteroid and eventually Mars on future missions.

EFT-1 will launch an uncrewed Orion capsule 3,600 miles into space for a four-hour mission to test several of its most critical systems. After making two orbits, Orion will return to Earth at almost 20,000 miles per hour and endure temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before its parachutes slow it down for a landing in the Pacific Ocean.

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