At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency's completed Orion spacecraft begins its trip from the Launch Abort System Facility to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Orion spent many months in Kennedy's Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building undergoing final assembly. Hundreds of employees who work there signed the banner that states, "I'm On Board!" In doing so, their signature indicated they did their part to ensure mission success. After arrival at the launch pad, United Launch Alliance engineers and technicians will lift Orion and mount it atop its Delta IV Heavy rocket.
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