NASA’s Orion spacecraft to hit launch pad tonight to be ready for first flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA officials will roll out the Orion spacecraft for the final leg of its prelaunch journey tonight at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Abort System Facility to Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The roll our was originally scheduled for yesterday, but was scratched due to weather concerns, when winds and the threat of lightning violated safety rules.

It will take six hours for the spacecraft to travel to the launch pad, with the procedure expected to begin at about 8:30 p.m. Est. Once Orion arrives at the launch complex it will then be lifted into place and attached atop the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Orion's uncrewed is targeted for Dec. 4, where it will fly to 3,600 miles above Earth on a more than four hour flight to test many of the systems critical for future human missions into deep space. After two orbits and 60,000 miles, Orion will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at almost 20,000 mph before its parachute system deploys to slow the spacecraft for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. On future missions, the will help carry astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before, including to an asteroid and Mars. For more information about Orion, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orion.

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