NASA has invited the media to click the pictures of its Orion spacecraft on its “path to the pad” journey. Orion is scheduled to depart from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building en route to the Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The testing and assembly of Orion will be completed in early December. “The spacecraft will then undergo ground processing and integration in facilities across the center in preparation for the Artemis I launch next year”, NASA informed via its website.
On December 5, a limited number of media persons will be allowed to view and capture Orion first inside the O&C building when it will be uncovered for the final time before being wrapped in protective materials for transport to the MPPF.
On December 7, the media will get a chance to photograph it from viewing areas outside and will be able to interview experts on both days.
“After its arrival at the MPPF, teams with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and contractor Jacobs will equip the spacecraft with propellants and commodities needed for its mission. Integration of ground system elements and the launch abort system will then take place at the Launch Abort System Facility next year. Finally, the spacecraft will move to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for stacking on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket ahead of its inaugural flight in support of the Artemis I mission,” said NASA.
NASA said it is adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines and will communicate any updates that may impact media access.
“The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will test the Orion spacecraft and SLS as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish sustainable lunar exploration by the end of the decade,” NASA said.