This close-up view shows the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket for Exploration Flight Test-1 being raised into the vertical position at the pad at Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Delta IV Heavy is being readied to launch Orion on its first flight test.
During its first flight test, 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 the first flight test is planned for December 2014. Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper