In the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a crane operator lifts a full-size mock-up of the Orion spacecraft high in the air for transfer to High Bay 4. Crane operators and technicians practice stacking and de-stacking operations in order to keep processing procedures and skills current for the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program..
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry crews to space beyond low Earth orbit. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion’s first unpiloted test flight is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a Delta IV rocket. A second uncrewed flight test is scheduled for 2017 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Dan Casper