Exploration Flight Test 1
Rendering of Orion capsule and Delta IV upper-stage during EFT-1
|Mission type||Uncrewed test flight|
|Mission duration||4 hours, 24 minutes|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 5, 2014, 12:05 UTC (07:05 EST)|
|Rocket||Delta IV Heavy|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-37B|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. UTC|
600 miles (965 km) SW of San Diego
|Apogee||3,604 miles (5,800 km)|
Exploration Flight Test 1 or EFT-1 (previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1) was the first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The craft, without a crew, was launched on December 5, 2014, at 12:05 UTC (7:05 am EST), atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The mission was a four-hour, two-orbit test of the Orion crew module featuring a high apogee on the second orbit and concluding with a high-energy reentry at around 20,000 miles per hour (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s). This mission design corresponds to 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 flight was intended to test various Orion systems, including separation events, avionics, heat shielding, parachutes, and recovery operations prior to its debut launch aboard the Space Launch System, currently scheduled for no later than November 2018.
EFT-1 Orion was built by Lockheed Martin. On June 22, 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, where the remainder of the spacecraft was completed. The Delta IV rocket was put in a vertical position on October 1, 2014, and Orion was mated with the vehicle on November 11.
The four and a half hour flight took the Orion spacecraft on two orbits of Earth. Peak altitude was approximately 3,600 miles (5,800 km). The high altitude allowed the spacecraft to reach reentry speeds of up to 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h; 8,900 m/s), which exposed the heat shield to temperatures up to around 4,000 °F (2,200 °C), or 64% of the energy dissipated upon reentry from a moon mission.During the flight, the crew module, a structural representation of the service module, a partial launch abort system containing only the jettison motor, and Orion-to-stage adapter would be evaluated. The spacecraft remained attached to the Delta IV's upper stage until reentry began and relied on internal batteries for power rather than photovoltaic arrays, which were not contained in the structural representation. Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed by the Critical Design Review (CDR) in April 2015.
|L-6:00:00||Orion powered on, mobile service tower retracts. Fueling of Delta IV Heavy begins|
|0:00:00||Launch window opens (7:05 a.m. EST, 12:05 UTC). EFT-1 launches.|
|0:01:23||Reach Mach 1|
|0:05:30||First Stage MECO (Main Engine Cut Off)|
|0:05:33||First Stage separation|
|0:05:49||Second Stage ignition #1|
|0:06:15||Structural representation of service module fairing jettison|
|0:06:20||Launch Abort System jettison|
|0:17:39||SECO #1 (Second Engine Cut Off), Orion begins first orbit|
|1:55:26||Orion completes first orbit, Second stage ignition #2|
|2:00:09||SECO #2 (Second Engine Cut Off)|
|2:05:00||Enter first high radiation period|
|2:20:00||Leave first high radiation period|
|2:40:00||Reaction Control System (RCS) activation|
|3:05:00||Reach peak altitude (3,600 miles/5,800 kilometers)|
|3:23:41||Orion separates from service module and second stage, second stage performs disposal burn|
|3:57:00||Orion positions for reentry|
|4:20:22||Forward bay cover jettisons, parachute deployment begins (two drogues, three mains)|
After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, crews recovered the EFT-1 Orion crew vehicle and will outfit the capsule for an ascent abort test in 2017.
|Attempt||Planned||Result||Turnaround||Reason||Decision point||Weather go (%)||Notes|
|1||4 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Hold||---||Fouled Range||A boat entered the launch range.|
|2||4 Dec 2014, 7:17:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 12 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit. (21 knots)|
|3||4 Dec 2014, 7:55:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 38 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit. (21 knots)|
|4||4 Dec 2014, 8:26:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 31 minutes||Technical||(T-00:03:09)||A fuel fill and drain valve did not close.|
|5||4 Dec 2014, 9:44:00 am||Scrubbed||0 days, 1 hour, 18 minutes||Technical||24-hour recycle.|
|6||5 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Success||0 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes|
First weld on the EFT-1 Orion structure, September 2011
Orion structure after final weld, June 2012
Orion's Service Module prior to encapsulation, December 2013
EFT-1 Orion Weight and Center of Gravity Test, June 2014
EFT-1 Orion back shell tile installation, September 2014
EFT-1 Orion in fairing and with LAS, October 2014
EFT-1 Orion on its Delta IV Heavy, November 2014
The EFT-1 Orion before splashdown, 5 December 2014
Recovery of the EFT-1 Orion, 5 December 2014
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- NASA (24 November 2014). "Sesame Street Characters 'On Board' as NASA Counts Down to Orion's Test Flight". NASA.gov. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
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- "Orion First Flight Test - NASA Facts" (PDF).
- Clark, Stephen (26 June 2012). "Space-bound Orion capsule to arrive in Florida next week". SpaceFlightNow. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
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- "OFT-1: NASA gearing up for Orion's 2013 debut via Delta IV Heavy". 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- "EFT-1 September, 2014 launch date "paced" by the Delta IV-H". nasaspaceflight.com.
- Stephen Clark (23 November 2011). "Cracks discovered in Orion capsule's pressure shell". Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Orion MPCV homepage (NASA)
- EFT-1 Fact sheet (NASA)
- EFT-1 Press kit (NASA)
- Animation of the EFT-1 mission (NASA)
- Video of the launch of EFT-1 - 5 December 2014 (NASA)
- Video of the landing of the EFT-1 Orion - 5 December 2014 (NASA/U.S. Navy)
- Orion GTA-1 fabrication and configuration, Delta 4 Heavy images