At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians begin the process to offload the heat shield for the agency's Orion spacecraft from the Super Guppy aircraft. The largest of its kind ever built, the heat shield is planned for installation on the Orion crew module in March of next year. The Orion spacecraft is scheduled to make its first unpiloted flight test, Exploration Flight Test-1 EFT-1, in September 2014.
The Orion spacecraft is designed to meet requirements for traveling beyond low-Earth orbit. The spacecraft will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry crews to space, sustain the astronauts during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orion Photo credit: NASA/Charisse Nasher