KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – The long road to NASA’s “Mars Era” opened with the thunderous on-time blastoff today, Dec. 5, of NASA’s first Orion spacecraft.
Orion took flight atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket on its inaugural test flight to space on the uncrewed Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission at 7:05 a.m. EST on December 5, 2014, from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
“It’s the dawn of Orion and a new era in space exploration,” said NASA launch commentator Mike Curie as the Delta rocket roared to life.
Orion’s Delta rocket lit the sky on fire and soared to space on the world’s most powerful rocket.
Jubilation broke out in Mission Control as Orion slowly ascended from the pad.
“It’s a great day for America,” said NASA Flight Director Mike Sarafin.
This story is being updated directly from the Kennedy Space Center. Further details in follow up features.
Watch for Ken’s ongoing Orion coverage and he is onsite at KSC during launch week for the historic launch on Dec. 5.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Orion and Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.