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Back Shell Tile Panels Installed on NASA's Orion
Inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA's Kennedy Space
Center in Florida, technicians dressed in clean-room suits have installed a back
shell tile panel onto the Orion crew module and are checking the fit next to the
middle back shell tile panel. Preparations are underway for Exploration Flight
Test-1, or EFT-1.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to
destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will
have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and
provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted
test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch later this year atop a Delta IV
rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600
miles above the Earth's surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help
engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat
shield, parachute system and launch abort system.