The umbilical swing arm for Exploration Flight Test 1, or EFT-1, is being prepared to be lifted by crane and attached to the fixed umbilical tower at Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The swing arm is the uppermost of three swing arms that will be attached to the fixed umbilical tower.
The swing arm will carry umbilicals that will be mated to Orion's launch abort system and environmental control system. During launch, the umbilicals will pull away from Orion and the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket at T-0. During the EFT-1 mission, Orion will travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. The data gathered during the flight will influence design decisions, validate existing computer models and innovative new approaches to space systems development, as well as reduce overall mission risks and costs for later Orion flights. Liftoff of Orion on its first flight test is planned for fall 2014. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann