NASA's first space-bound Orion capsule is seen in silhouette, set against the pad lights at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37B on Wednesday, Nov. 12. (collectSPACE)
The first space-bound Orion capsule has arrived at a NASA Kennedy Space Center launch pad.
It is scheduled to launch from that location on December 4 on an unmanned test flight supporting NASA plans for future astronaut missions beyond Earth's orbit.
Robert Pearlman of CollectSpace shot these gorgeous photos of Orion at the launch pad, and was present at a press briefing given by NASA KSC chief Bob Cabana:
The gumdrop-shaped spacecraft, encased within a white aerodynamic shell and topped by a launch escape tower, rolled up to the base of Space Launch Complex (SLC) 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:07 a.m. EST (0807 GMT) on Wednesday (Nov. 12).
The capsule, which is set to embark on Dec. 4 on NASA's Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), rode out to the pad atop a multi-wheeled transporter. A banner hung on the front of the vehicle read, "Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building 'I'm On Board,'" referencing the building where the spacecraft was assembled.
"I gotta tell you, this is special," Bob Cabana, the director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center and a former astronaut, told reporters during a press conference on Monday. "This is our first step on the journey to Mars."
More at Collectspace.com.
The Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) Orion rolls past the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. (collectSPACE)
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