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Weather looks good for first Orion mission

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Orion poised for flight. Photo courtesy NASA

Orion poised for flight.
Image credit: NASA

The weather is looking good for Orion’s first unmanned test mission Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A two-hour window means some flexibility with the weather.

The launch is scheduled for 7:05 a.m.

NASA’s Mark Geyer says the mission will test the spacecraft’s heat shield and parachutes.

“Part of me hopes that everything is perfect. We land, high-fives, everybody has a great time. But really on a flight test like this if there are subtleties in how the vehicle behaves with the environments or how systems actually behave with one another during flight, my hope is that we find that with this test flight.”

Engineers also will examine how deep space radiation affects the spacecraft’s computers and the separation of the spacecraft’s launch components.

Orion is NASA’s new deep space capsule, designed to send astronauts to Mars. The spacecraft will orbit the Earth twice during its first mission, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »