At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians complete the installation of ogive panels on the Orion ground test vehicle in Vehicle Assembly Building high bay 4. The ogive panels enclose the Orion spacecraft and attach to the Launch Abort System. The test vehicle is being used Ground Systems Development and Operations Program for path finding operations, including simulated manufacturing, assembly and stacking procedures.
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 test flight of Orion is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a Delta IV rocket and in 2017 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Kim Shiflett