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ORION ASCENT ABORT TEST, July 2, 2019, Cape Canaveral, FL, window opens 7:00 am ET (NASA TV begins 6:40 am ET)

Update, June 27:  NASA now plans to have a post-launch press conference about two hours after the test takes place.  Audio of the briefing will be broadcast on NASA Live.

Update, June 24:  On July 2, the launch window will be open for four hours beginning at 7:00 am ET.  NASA TV coverage begins 6:40 am ET.

Original Entry:  NASA will conduct a test of the ascent abort system for the Orion crew capsule at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), FL on July 2, 2019.  The abort system would be used if anything went awry during an actual launch of an Orion when people are aboard.  Orion will be launched by NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS).

During the 3 minute test, a 22,000 pound test version of the Orion spacecraft will be launched to an altitude of 32,000 feet at Mach 1.3 (over 1,000 miles per hour) using a Northrop Grumman rocket. Watch a video illustrating what will take place.

The first flight of an actual Orion module, though not outfitted with the systems needed to support astronauts, is currently expected in late 2020 or early 2021.  Previously designated Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), it now is called Artemis-1.  NASA recently named the program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024 as Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.

The first flight of Orion with a crew, Artemis-2, is currently expected in 2022.  It will fly around the Moon.  The third flight of Orion, Artemis-1, will take a crew to the Gateway NASA plans to build in lunar orbit.  From there, the crew will use other vehicles to get down to the surface of the Moon and back to Gateway.



July 2, 2019
6:30 am - 11:00 pm