Flight Test of NASA Spacecraft Built to Transport Humans into Deep Space will Carry Dr. Sally Ride’s STS-7 Crew Patch as Well as an Excerpt from “The Mystery of Mars”


UPDATE: Orion launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, FL, on Friday, December 5, at 7:05 am EST and, after two orbits, returned successfully, splashing down at 11:29 am EST in the Pacific Ocean about 270 miles off the coast of Baja California!

San Diego, CA, December 4, 2014—On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, NASA announced that the maiden flight of the Orion spacecraft will carry both the STS-7 crew patch Dr. Sally Ride wore when she became the first American woman to fly in space, as well as an excerpt from The Mystery of Mars, a children’s book by Dr. Ride and Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy. The flight test is scheduled for Thursday, December 4, 2014.

“When Sally became the first American woman to soar into space, she captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “But Sally’s historic flight represented just one aspect of a remarkable life—she was also a physicist, a science writer, and an inspirational advocate for science literacy.”

“It is only fitting that NASA’s Orion spacecraft—designed to carry humans to deep space and eventually to Mars—carry her STS-7 crew patch and an excerpt from The Mystery of Mars on its maiden flight,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy, who—in addition to co-authoring The Mystery of Mars (among other books) with Dr. Ride—is a cofounder and CEO of Sally Ride Science.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Orion’s maiden voyage—scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, FL—will be a two-orbit, four-hour flight that will test many of the systems most critical to safety. The Orion Flight Test will evaluate launch and high-speed re-entry systems such as avionics, attitude control, parachutes and the heat shield.

Launch and mission control teams are scheduled to report to their consoles in Florida and Houston at about 3:30 am, EST, with a continuous countdown, launch and mission coverage beginning at 4:30 am, EST, and viewable via streaming at www.nasa.gov/nasatv. To learn more visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion.


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