Orion EFT-1 Exploration Flight Test 1 Mission HatNEW! The Official ORION EFT-1 Mission Hat!
Exploration Flight Test 1 or EFT-1 is the first planned uncrewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Set to launch on December 4, 2014 atop a Delta IV Heavy from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mission will be a multi-hour, two-orbit test of the Orion Crew Module featuring a high apogee on the second orbit and a high-energy reentry at around 20,000 miles per hour (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s). This mission design is essentially equivalent to that of the Apollo 4 mission of 1967, which validated the Apollo flight control system and heat shield at re-entry conditions planned for the return from lunar missions. The spacecraft will remain attached to the Delta IV's Upper Stage until reentry begins and will rely on internal batteries for power rather than photovoltaic arrays, which will not be installed. The flight is intended to test various Orion systems, including avionics, heat shielding and parachutes prior to its debut launch aboard the Space Launch System, currently scheduled for late 2017. EFT-1 Orion is being built by Lockheed Martin. On 22 June 2012, the final welds of the EFT-1 Orion were completed at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was then transported to Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout Building, which is where the remainder of the spacecraft will be completed. Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed by the Critical Design Review in April, 2015. After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, crews will recover the EFT-1 Orion crew vehicle and outfit the capsule for an ascent abort test.