The most iconic space flight will take place tomorrow Space Launch Complex 37 where the doors to the Mobile Servicing Tower were opened recently to reveal the Orion spacecraft atop the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry the spacecraft into orbit. The Orion’s crew module is placed underneath the Launch Abort System and nose fairing, both of which will jettison about six minutes, 20 seconds after launch.
The tower is intended to be rolled away from the rocket and spacecraft to allow it to be fueled and carry out final launch operation checks, all of this is done 8 hours and 15 minutes before launch. The crew is also putting in the finishing touches into the crew cabin today which includes the placement and latching away of the many mementos that will be travelling aboard the spacecraft.
The launchpad teams are also working hard to finish of a long list of closeout duties to make sure the Orion’s recorders and navigation instruments are ready for space. So far the spacecraft is on target for its lift off on Thursday at 7:05am EST, the opening of a 2 hour, 39-minute window for the day.
Diameter: 5 meters
Pressurised Volume: 20 cubic meters
Habitable Volume: 11 cubic meters
Total Propulsive Capability: 1,738 meters per second
Service Module Engine Thrust: 33,362 Newton’s
Lunar Return Payload: 100 kilograms
Dry Mass: 14,045 kilograms
Propellant Mass: 9,350 kilograms
Landing Weight: 7,337 kilograms