At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Chris Crumbly, manager of Space Launch System Spacecraft/Payload Integration and Evolution, was one of several agency leaders who spoke to member of the news media about how the first flight of the new Orion spacecraft is a first step in the agency's plans to send humans to Mars.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted flight test of Orion is scheduled to launch Dec. 4, 2014 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett