Thursday, August 11, 2011

Orion Could Launch from LC-37 in 2013

An artist's concept of the MPCV atop a Delta IV-H Upper Stage. Image source: reports that NASA is planning an unmanned test flight of the Orion crew capsule atop a Delta IV rocket from Launch Complex 37 in 2013.

Known as OFT-1 (Orion, or Orbital – given the name change to MPCV – Flight Test), the jointly operated mission between NASA’s Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) and Orion’s prime contractor Lockheed Martin will charge the spacecraft with making several orbits of the planet, prior to a splashdown in the Pacific ...

“This will be a multi-hour orbit test of the Orion Spacecraft. From avionics to heat shield and parachute performance, this flight test will validate many high risk systems for the Orion spacecraft. MOD is heavily involved in this flight test.”

The article notes that "the launch will not take place at KSC — given it’s riding on a Delta IV-H — meaning it will be transported from KSC’s Operations and Checkout Building to Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) for mating with the EELV."

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