The Orion crew module, stacked atop its service module, arrives at the Launch Abort System Facility, or LASF, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft was moved from the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, where it was fueled ahead of its December flight test. In the LASF, the Launch Abort System will be installed around the Orion spacecraft.
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 the Orion is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600 miles above the Earth's surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat shield, parachute system and launch abort system. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis