Earlier this morning (1 October, 2014) the Delta IV Heavy rocket for the Exploration Flight Test 1 mission was erected at Launch Complex 37. The booster has been in assembly at the Horizontal Integration Facility for the last few months. Last week, the rocket’s four major components were mated together, which I covered in this post. Rollout was delayed for a few days due to unfavorable weather at the Cape.
The Orion capsule will be mated to the vehicle once it is mated to the Launch Abort System. Last Sunday (28 September) Orion was moved from the Payload Hazardous Processing Facility, where it was fueled with propellants, to the Launch Abort System Facility for this crucial step. the spacecraft will roll out to Complex 37 near the end of this month for mating to the Delta IV, beginning integrated preflight testing. If all milestones are met without significant error, launch will take place at 7:05 AM EST, December 4th.
Images courtesy of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Goodness, that is a beautiful thing! Next time I’m depressed, someone remind me to go look at rockets.