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Old 07-11-14, 15:57   #1
 
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Earth PhOtOs>ORION-The Next Space Frontier=SIGN UP

Blast Your Name into Space Aboard NASA's Orion Spacecraft

By Doreen Christensen, Sun Sentinel




Engineers completed installing the heat shield on NASA's Orion spacecraft ahead of its first trip to space in December 2014. (Courtesy/NASA)

Blast off into deep space on NASA's Orion first test flight in December.



You can hitch a ride, or at least your name can, aboard NASA's new Mars-bound spacecraft, set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Dec. 4.

Sign up to have your name uploaded to the next-generation spacecraft being tested in the first unmanned flight to check the safety of the new ship designed to take man deep into the Final Frontier.The fascinating test, explained in a cool NASA video, will take the craft 15 times higher than the International Space Station, through temperatures of 4,000 degrees, which is twice as hot as molten lava. The craft re-enters Earth's atmosphere going 20,000 miles an hour.

After you sign up, you'll get a boarding pass and frequent flyer miles for NASA's Journey to Mars.


UPDATE:


Orion Launch to Test Human Flight Risks in Deep Space




AFP_WASHINGTON, Nov 06, 2014 (AFP) -With memories still fresh of two commercial space flight accidents in the past 10 days, NASA is readying its first test flight of the Orion spacecraft that could one day carry humans to Mars.


No one will be on board when Orion launches next month from Cape Canaveral in Florida, but the test will involve more than $370 million in rocket equipment and hardware.


That price tag does not include the cost of building the gumdrop-shaped Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle, built by Lockheed Martin to carry people into deep space.

The test mission, known as EFT-1, is scheduled to blast off December 4 at 7:05 am (1205 GMT) from a NASA launchpad at Kennedy Space Center. It aims to end with an ocean splashdown about four and a half hours later.



Quote:
“EFT-1 is absolutely the biggest thing that this agency is going to do this year,” said William Hill, NASA deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development.
“This is really our first step on our journey to Mars.”

The test flight begins with the liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket, marking the eighth launch of that particular rocket system.
The rocket will be strapped with two boosters offering 663,000 pounds (301,000 kilograms) of thrust each, said Ron Fortson, ULA director of mission management.

The boosters are more powerful than those developed for the space shuttle, the 30-year NASA program that ended in 2011.

Hill said the rocket does not share any of the same components that were involved in the October 28 failure of an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket that exploded shortly after launch on what was to be a supply mission to the International Space Station.

That blast cost Orbital more than $200 million, but took no lives. It was followed on Friday by a fatal crash of Virgin´s pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft SpaceShipTwo, killing one of its two pilots.


“In the space business we are one big family and when someone has a failure we all feel it,” said Hill.


Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager, said the accidents do not raise particular concern among his team for the upcoming launch, however.

“It just reminds of the risks we already understood,” Geyer told reporters.
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