NASA Sets Prelaunch Activities, Television Coverage for Orion Flight Test

An artist's concept image of the Orion capsule. Image Source: Lockheed Martin

An artist’s concept image of the Orion capsule. Image Source: Lockheed Martin

November 25, 2014 – The first flight test of the Lockheed Martin built Orion, NASA’s next-generation spacecraft that will send astronauts to an asteroid and onward to Mars, is scheduled for Thursday, December 4. NASA will host a series of news conferences and flight test commentary on NASA Television, as well as media events at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Orion will launch, uncrewed, on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket at 5:05 a.m. MST from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The window for launch is two hours 39 minutes.

NASA TV launch commentary of the flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1, begins at 2:30 a.m. and will continue through splashdown in the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles southwest of San Diego.

During its 4.5 hour trip, Orion will orbit Earth twice and travel to an altitude of 3,600 miles into space. The flight is designed to test many of the elements that pose the greatest risk to astronauts and will provide critical data needed to improve Orion’s design and reduce risks to future mission crews.

Coverage of events for the flight begin two days before launch.

Tuesday, December 2

Noon – Journey to Mars panel discussion on NASA TV from Kennedy and NASA Headquarters in Washington
11 a.m. — Orion flight test status and overview briefing on NASA TV

Wednesday, December 3

9 a.m. — Prelaunch news conference on NASA TV
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — NASA Social – Orion Overview Event on NASA TV

A post-flight test briefing on NASA TV also will be held approximately two hours after splashdown on December 4.

For a complete and always updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit: