Exploration Flight Test-1
|Names||Orion Flight Test-1 (OFT-1)|
|Mission type||Uncrewed test flight|
|Mission duration||4 hours, 24 minutes|
|Spacecraft type||Orion MPCV|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 5, 2014, 12:05UTC (07:05 EST)|
|Rocket||Delta IV Heavy|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-37B|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|End of mission|
|Recovered by||USS Anchorage|
|Landing date||December 5, 2014, 16:29UTC|
|Landing site||Pacific Ocean,|
640 miles (1,030 km) SSE of San Diego
|Apogee altitude||5,800 kilometres (3,604 mi)|
Exploration Flight Test-1 or EFT-1 (previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1) was the first test flight of the crew module portion of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Without a crew, it was launched on December 5, 2014, at 12:05 UTC (7:05 am EST), by a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The mission was a four-hour, two-orbit test of the Orion crew module featuring a high apogee on the second orbit and concluding with a high-energy reentry at around 20,000 miles per hour (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s). This mission design corresponds to 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 flight was intended to test various Orion systems, including separation events, avionics, heat shielding, parachutes, and recovery operations prior to its aboard the Space Launch System on the Artemis 1 mission. As of September 2021[update] Artemis 1 is planned for launch no earlier than late December 2021, more than seven years after EFT-1.
EFT-1 Orion was built by Lockheed Martin. On June 22, 2012, the final welds of the EFT-1 Orion were completed at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was then transported to Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout Building, where the remainder of the spacecraft was completed. The Delta IV rocket was put in a vertical position on October 1, 2014, and Orion was mated with the vehicle on November 11.
The four-and-a-half-hour flight took the Orion spacecraft on two orbits of Earth. Peak altitude was approximately 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi). The high altitude allowed the spacecraft to reach reentry speeds of up to 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s), which exposed the heat shield to temperatures up to around 4,000 °F (2,200 °C).
During the flight, the crew module, a structural representation of the service module, a partial launch abort system containing only the jettison motor, and Orion-to-stage adapter were evaluated. The spacecraft remained attached to the dummy service module on the Delta IV's upper stage until re-entry began and relied on internal batteries for power rather than photovoltaic arrays, which were not contained in the structural representation. Data gathered from the test flight were analyzed by the critical design review (CDR) in April 2015.
|L-6:00:00||Orion powered on, mobile service tower retracts. Fueling of Delta IV Heavy begins|
|0:00:00||Launch window opens (7:05 a.m. EST, 12:05 UTC). EFT-1 launches.|
|0:01:23||Reach Mach 1|
|0:05:30||First stage MECO (main engine cut-off)|
|0:05:33||First stage separation|
|0:05:49||Second stage ignition No. 1|
|0:06:15||Structural representation of service module fairing jettison|
|0:06:20||Launch Abort System jettison|
|0:17:39||SECO No. 1 (second engine cut-off), Orion begins first orbit|
|1:55:26||Orion completes first orbit, second stage ignition No. 2|
|2:00:09||SECO No. 2 (second engine cut-off)|
|2:05:00||Enter first high radiation period|
|2:20:00||Leave first high radiation period|
|2:40:00||Reaction control system (RCS) activation|
|3:05:00||Reach peak altitude (5,800 kilometers/3,600 miles)|
|3:23:41||Orion separates from service module and second stage, second stage performs disposal burn|
|3:57:00||Orion positions for reentry|
|4:20:22||Forward bay cover jettisons, parachute deployment begins (two drogues, three mains)|
|4:24:46||Splashdown and recovery by the USS Anchorage crew|
|Attempt||Planned||Result||Turnaround||Reason||Decision point||Weather go (%)||Notes|
|1||4 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Hold||—||Fouled Range||A boat entered the launch range.|
|2||4 Dec 2014, 7:17:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 12 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit (21 kn or 24 mph or 39 km/h).|
|3||4 Dec 2014, 7:55:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 38 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit (21 kn or 24 mph or 39 km/h).|
|4||4 Dec 2014, 8:26:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 31 minutes||Technical||(T-00:03:09)||A fuel fill and drain valve did not close.|
|5||4 Dec 2014, 9:44:00 am||Scrubbed||0 days, 1 hour, 18 minutes||Technical||24-hour recycle.|
|6||5 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Success||0 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes|
Post-flight disposition of capsule
Orion structure after final weld, June 2012, at the Michoud Assembly Facility
Orion's Service Module prior to encapsulation, December 2013, in the Operations and Checkout Building (O&C)
Recovery of the EFT-1 Orion by the USS Anchorage, 5 December 2014
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- Clark, Stephen (June 26, 2012). "Space-bound Orion capsule to arrive in Florida next week". SpaceFlightNow. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
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- "Orion Arrives at Launch Pad" NASA. Retrieved: 12 November 2014.
- "Orion First Flight Test – NASA Facts" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- "OFT-1: NASA gearing up for Orion's 2013 debut via Delta IV Heavy". August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- "EFT-1 September, 2014 launch date "paced" by the Delta IV-H". nasaspaceflight.com.
- NASA. "Orion Exploration Flight Test-1" (PDF). Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Stephen Clark (November 23, 2011). "Cracks discovered in Orion capsule's pressure shell". Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Orion EFT-1 flown spacecraft joins display in 'NASA Now' exhibit | collectSPACE". collectSPACE.com. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Exploration Flight Test-1.|
- Orion MPCV homepage (NASA)
- EFT-1 Fact sheet (NASA)
- EFT-1 Press kit (NASA)
- Animation of the EFT-1 mission (NASA)
- Video of the launch of EFT-1 – 5 December 2014 (NASA)
- Video of the landing of the EFT-1 Orion – 5 December 2014 (NASA/U.S. Navy)
- Orion GTA-1 fabrication and configuration, Delta 4 Heavy images