NASA's Newest Manned Spaceship is Ready for Launch

By Jesus Diaz on at

Good news, everyone! Orion, NASA's first manned spaceship after the retirement of the space shuttle, is ready for launch this Thursday, December 4th. You can see it here at Space Launch Complex 37, on top of a Delta IV Heavy rocket. Meteorologists say there's a "60 per cent chance of acceptable launch conditions."

At Space Launch Complex 37, technicians and engineers are finishing closeouts on the Orion/Delta IV Heavy stack and completed work inside the Orion crew module to get everything situated for space. No one will ride aboard Orion, but the spacecraft is carrying numerous sensors to measure conditions throughout the mission, including radiation and temperatures inside the crew module as it reaches 3,600 miles above Earth and then plunges through the atmosphere before opening its chutes and splashing down.

Photo of NASA's newest manned spaceship ready for launch

This is what will happen on December 4th.

I'm excited, even if it's just a tiny step to get here. But at least it is a step.