A transporter for oversize loads carries the port booster for the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy for Exploration Flight Test-1, or EFT-1, into the Horizontal Integration Facility, or HIF, at Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The port booster joins the other two boosters of the Delta IV Heavy already in the HIF. The upper stage and spacecraft adapter arrived with the booster on a barge at the U.S. Army Outpost wharf at Port Canaveral, and were transported to the HIF on May 6.
At the HIF, all three booster stages will be processed and checked out before being moved to the nearby launch pad and hoisted into position. The spacecraft adapter will connect Orion to the ULA Delta IV, and also will connect Orion to NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, on its first mission in 2017. During the EFT-1 mission, Orion will travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. The data gathered during the flight will influence design decisions, validate existing computer models and innovative new approaches to space systems development, as well as reduce overall mission risks and costs for later Orion flights. Liftoff of Orion on EFT-1 is planned for fall 2014. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett