Thursday 8 January 2015

Launch of New Orion Spaceship Has NASA Flying High

Looking back at the space shuttle days, the recent impending debut of Orion spacecraft has left NASA on a high note. According to the sources, shuttle veterans are expected to be leading the charge in two-orbit, 4½-hour test flight, which is meant to shake out the capsule, before the astronauts can climb aboard. The destination at the moment has been said to be Mars. As per the lead flight director stationed at Mission Control in Houston, Mike Sarafin, they never felt this kind of feeling since the closure of the shuttle program. This is a very proud moment for them, as they will be launching an American spacecraft from the United States of America’s soil, which is meant for starting something new and explore some of the dark secrets of the space.

The launch of new Orion spacecraft: 

The spacecraft is expected to fly farther than any human-rated spacecraft (this is since the Apollo moon program) and it will aim at a distance of 3,600 miles, which is 14 times higher than the International Space Station and it is expected that altitude will provide a momentum for a 20,000-mph and 4,000-degree entry over the Pacific. The most vital part of the test flight is called the "trial by fire” by NASA, which is the 11 short minutes to splashdown. The heat shield at Orion's base is the largest of its kind ever built, which is at 16.5 feet across.

If sources have to be believed, nearly 650 journalists and around 26,000 guests are expected at the Kennedy for the sunrise launch. The space center press site was packed with many out of station reporters who have not been since the last shuttle flight in 2011. The capsule's inaugural run was put on par with that of the formative steps of Apollo and the space shuttles by the NASA's Orion program manager, Mark Geyer. He stated that they are starting a new mission, which is at the region on the moon and looking forward to something beyond than that. As per Jeff Angermeier, “Ground support mission manager from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, everybody can feel the buzz as this is a very exciting time for them”.

According to Charles Bolden Jr, Administrator of NASA, “In past 40 years, it will be the first time when America is going to launch a spacecraft meant to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit. That’s what makes it a big deal”. Before 2012, Orion is not planning to carry any astronauts. NASA wants to test some of the most critical parts of the capsule as it will be travelling through the high-radiation Van Allen belts surrounding Earth and engineers are looking forwards to check on the effect on the on-board computers.

As if now the spacecraft will be hoisted by Delta IV rocket but for the next flight in 2018, it will use mega-rocket which is still under development. The spacecraft without any humans has taken some of the stress off the NASA scientists, as they are still trying to overcome the October's explosion moments of the commercial rocket, which was carrying supplies for the International Space Station.

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