THIS ANIMATION DEPICTS the proposed test flight of the Orion spacecraft in 2014. During the test, which is called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), Orion will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, perform two orbits, reaching an altitude higher than any achieved by a spacecraft intended for human use since 1973, and then will re-enter and land in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States.
“The entry part of the test will produce data needed to develop a spacecraft capable of surviving speeds greater than 20,000 mph and safely return astronauts from beyond Earth orbit,” Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier said. “This test is very important to the detailed design process in terms of the data we expect to receive.”
NASA is developing the Orion spacecraft to launch astronauts to asteroids, the Moon, Mars and other destinations atop the Space Launch System (SLS), the agency’s new heavy launch vehicle.
Adapted from information issued by NASA.
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