Launch of Orion EFT-1 on Delta IV Heavy, The First Step to Mars

A Delta IV Heavy rocket thundered into orbit today from Space Launch Complex 37B carrying the very first Orion Spacecraft into orbit. This mission, labelled Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) is unmanned and will test Orion’s onboard systems and heat shield for a re-entry from lunar missions.

Liftoff occurred at 12:05 UTC, December 5th 2014, Orion will separate from the second stage at around 3 hours into flight before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Launch was delayed from December 4th due to ground winds, and then problems with fill and drain valves on the Delta IV rocket.

Source: NASA Television

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