|Artists impression of the Orion Spacecraft|
(Image courtesy of NASA)
NASA has confirmed plans for an unmanned test flight of the Orion spacecraft in 2014. This test supports the new Space Launch System (SLS) that aims to take astronauts deeper into space.
The Exploration Flight Test will launch from Cape Canaveral and is planned to include two orbits to a high-apogee, with a high energy re-entry through Earth's atmosphere. Orion will make a water landing and be recovered using operations planned for future human exploration missions.
NASA is developing the Orion spacecraft to launch astronauts to asteroids, the moon, Mars and other destinations using SLS, the new heavy launch vehicle. EFT-1 will provide data needed to inform design decisions and act as a pathfinder for new approaches to space systems development.