Image: Readying Orion for flight

June 26, 2012
Credit: NASA/Eric Bordelon

(Phys.org) -- The NASA team at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has completed the final weld on the first space-bound Orion capsule. The Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Orion will be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center for final assembly and checkout operations.

The EFT-1 flight will take Orion to an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, more than 15 times farther away from Earth than the . Orion will return home at a speed of 25,000 miles, almost 5,000 miles per hour faster than any human spacecraft. It will mimic the return conditions that astronauts experience as they come home from voyages beyond .

As Orion reenters the atmosphere, it will endure temperatures up to 4,000 degrees F., higher than any human spacecraft since astronauts returned from the moon.

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3 comments

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verkle
1 / 5 (4) Jun 26, 2012
Should be 25,000 miles per hour.
PhotonX
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2012
Should be 25,000 miles per hour.
Indeed.
Orion will return home at a speed of 25,000 miles, almost 5,000 miles per hour faster than any human spacecraft.
I'm only going on memory here, but didn't the Apollo spacecraft enter at about this speed, with Apollo 13 being somewhat higher? If Earth escape velocity is 7 miles per second, then 7*60*60 = 25,200 mph. Maybe they meant in comparison to the Space Shuttle and Soyuz orbital craft?
scintilla
not rated yet Jun 27, 2012
I'm only going on memory here, but didn't the Apollo spacecraft enter at about this speed, with Apollo 13 being somewhat higher? If Earth escape velocity is 7 miles per second, then 7*60*60 = 25,200 mph. Maybe they meant in comparison to the Space Shuttle and Soyuz orbital craft?


yeah 25000 mph is about 11km/s which is typical lunar return velocity. I think they meant in comparison to return from LEO this is much faster.

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