In the Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site auditorium, members of the news media are briefed on the upcoming Orion flight test. From left are: Rachel Kraft, NASA Public Affairs, Bill Hill, NASA deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development, Mark Geyer, NASA Orion Program manager, Bryan Austin, Lockheed Martin mission manager, Jeremy Graeber, Operations Integration Branch of Ground Systems Development and Operations at Kennedy, and Ron Fortson, United Launch Alliance director of Mission Management. Mike Sarafin, NASA's lead flight director, participated by video from the Johnson Space Center.
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