In the Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site auditorium, agency and industry leaders spoke to members of the news media as the Orion spacecraft and its Delta IV Heavy rocket were being prepared for launch. From left are: Brandi Dean of NASA Public Affairs, Mark Geyer, Orion program manager, Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin Orion Program manager, and Ron Fortson, United Launch Alliance director of mission management.
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