Watch NASA's Orion Animation Three Days Ahead of Upcoming Launch
In three days, NASA will do a test launch of their Orion spacecraft, a shuttle that could potentially take humans farther into space than we've been since the Apollo missions more than forty years ago. In anticipation of the event, NASA has released a handy animation of Orion launching from Cape Canaveral:
The Exploration Flight Test 1 will occur on December 4, 2014 at 7:05. Orion will lift off for an unmanned mission using a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will orbit the Earth twice over four-and-a-half hours, during which time the peak altitude will be 3,600 miles above Earth. This is 15 times higher than the (ISS) and higher than any human has traveled since the Apollo missions.
According to NASA, the "road to Mars begins here." The spacecraft is reportedly cutting-edge technology that will aid humans in their ambitions to reach the moon, Mars, asteroids, and other deep space locations. "NASA's Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they've ever gone before... [it] is designed to take astronauts to deep-space destination such as an asteroid and Mars."
The mission will test whether all of Orion's systems, including the parachutes and heat shields, are operational, in preparation for its debut launch on the Space Launch System, which is scheduled to occur in November 2018.