Rollout for EFT-1 Orion spacecraft slips 24 hours
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — NASA and Lockheed Martin have decided to push back the rollout of the Orion spacecraft that will carry out the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission by 24 hours. Torrential rain and high winds in and around Florida’s Space Coast caused the delay. Rollout is now slated to take place no-earlier-than Nov. 11 at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 GMT).
When it does conduct the move to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) – the spacecraft will be taken on a rather winding route of some 10 miles. The trip take will take Orion past the future launch site of the heavy-lift Space Launch System or “SLS.” SLS is the launch vehicle of choice for Orion.
For the EFT-1 test flight, Orion will ride a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.
Weather constraints at KSC are that winds must be less than 20 knots consistent and 25 knot gusts, and there may not be a phase 1 lightning hazard. Unfortunately weather deteriorated and at approximately 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) it was decided that the rollout would be delayed for 24 hours, rescheduling the move to the evening of Nov. 11.
While unfortunate, the head of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and a former shuttle commander himself, Robert Cabana, expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming flight.
“I’m sorry that the weather didn’t cooperate and we’re not sitting out at the LASF with the Orion in the background,” Cabana said. “Let me tell you it looks great…I got to tell you that this is special, this is the first step on that journey to Mars.”
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