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
EM-1

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.

Objectives[edit]

The flight is intended to test various Orion systems, including separation events, avionics, heat shielding, parachutes, and recovery operations prior to its debut launch aboard the Space Launch System, currently scheduled for no later than November 2018.[3][4]

Vehicle assembly[edit]

EFT-1 Orion was 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]

The Delta IV rocket was put in a vertical position on October 1, 2014; integration with the spacecraft is scheduled for mid-November 2014.[7]

Flight[edit]

The four and a half hour flight will take the Orion spacecraft on two orbits of Earth. Peak altitude will be approximately 3,600 miles (5,800 km). The high altitude will allow the the spacecraft to reach reentry speeds of up to 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s), which will expose the heat shield to temperatures up to around 4,000 °F (2,200 °C), or 80% of the temperature that would be experienced upon reentry from a moon mission.[4][2]

During the flight, the Crew Module, Service Module, Launch Abort System, and Orion-to-Stage Adapter will be evaluated.[4] 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.[8] Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed by the Critical Design Review (CDR) in April 2015.[9]

Delta IV cameras[edit]

Earth images[edit]

Capsule location[edit]

After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, crews will recover the EFT-1 Orion crew vehicle and outfit the capsule for an ascent abort test.[10]

Gallery[edit]

External video
EFT-1 animation (NASA)

References[edit]

  1. ^ NASA's EFT-1 MISSION Slips To December
  2. ^ a b Chris Bergin (14 November 2011). "EFT-1 Orion receives hatch door – Denver Orion ready for Modal Testing". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Chris Bergin (25 October 2011). "SLS Flexibility: Exploration roadmap focus taking center stage". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Orion First Flight Test - NASA Facts" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  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. ^ "NASA’s Orion Spacecraft, Rocket Move Closer to First Flight" NASA. Retrieved: 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ EFT-1 September, 2014 launch date “paced” by the Delta IV-H
  10. ^ Stephen Clark (23 November 2011). "Cracks discovered in Orion capsule's pressure shell". Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 

External links[edit]