Exploration Flight Test 1

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Exploration Flight Test 1
Orbits completed 2 (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Orion MPCV
Start of mission
Launch date December 4, 2014[1]
Rocket Delta IV Heavy
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-37B
Contractor United Launch Alliance
End of mission
Landing site Pacific Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric

Exploration Flight Test-1 insignia.png

Beyond Low Earth Orbit Program

Exploration Flight Test 1 or EFT-1 (previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1) is the first planned uncrewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Set to launch on December 4, 2014 atop a Delta IV Heavy from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mission will be a multi-hour, two-orbit test of the Orion Crew Module featuring a high apogee on the second orbit and a high-energy reentry at around 20,000 miles per hour (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s).[2] This mission design is essentially equivalent to that of the Apollo 4 mission of 1967, which validated the Apollo flight control system and heat shield at re-entry conditions planned for the return from lunar missions.


The spacecraft will remain attached to the Delta IV's Upper Stage until reentry begins and will rely on internal batteries for power rather than photovoltaic arrays, which will not be installed.[3] The flight is intended to test various Orion systems, including avionics, heat shielding and parachutes prior to its debut launch aboard the Space Launch System, currently scheduled for late 2017.[4]

EFT-1 Orion is being built by Lockheed Martin.[5] On June 22, 2012, the final welds of the EFT-1 Orion were completed at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana.[5] It was then transported to Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout Building, which is where the remainder of the spacecraft will be completed.[6]

Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed by the Critical Design Review (CDR) in April 2015.[7]

After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, crews will recover the EFT-1 Orion crew vehicle and outfit the capsule for an ascent abort test.[8]


External video
EFT-1 animation (NASA)


  1. ^ NASA's EFT-1 MISSION Slips To December
  2. ^ Chris Bergin (14 November 2011). "EFT-1 Orion receives hatch door – Denver Orion ready for Modal Testing". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "OFT-1: NASA gearing up for Orion's 2013 debut via Delta IV Heavy". 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Chris Bergin (25 October 2011). "SLS Flexibility: Exploration roadmap focus taking center stage". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (26 June 2012). "Space-bound Orion capsule to arrive in Florida next week". SpaceFlightNow. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "NASA Unveils Orion During Ceremony". NASA. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  7. ^ EFT-1 September, 2014 launch date “paced” by the Delta IV-H
  8. ^ Stephen Clark (23 November 2011). "Cracks discovered in Orion capsule's pressure shell". Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 

External links[edit]