Press Release

Coverage Set for NASA Test of Orion Abort System for Moon to Mars Missions

By SpaceRef Editor
June 26, 2019
Filed under ,

NASA Television will broadcast launch and prelaunch activities of the Ascent Abort-2flight test of the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system that will help pave the way for Artemis missions with astronauts to the Moon and then Mars.

The test’s four-hour launch window opens at 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 2. A test version of the crew module will launch from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:40 a.m.

NASA also will host a preview news conference for the test at 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 1, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Participants include:

  • Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager
  • Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 test conductor
  • Randy Bresnik, NASA astronaut

The launch and preview news conference will air on NASA TV and the agency’s website. A postlaunch news conference is not planned.

Ascent Abort-2 will verify Orion’s abort system can pull the crew module away from an emergency during its ascent to space. During approximately three minutes of flight, a booster will loft the test capsule about six miles into the atmosphere to experience high-stress aerodynamic conditions, at which point the abort sequence will be triggered to carry the crew module a safe distance from the rocket. The test flight will help ensure the safety of astronauts, in the unlikely event an emergency arises as they rocket into space.

Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, along with the Space Launch System and the Gateway. Through the Artemis program, the next American Moon walkers will depart Earth aboard Orion and begin a new era of exploration.

Full mission coverage is as follows:

Monday, July 1

Press Site Hours of Operation: 6:00am to 4:30pm

Badging Hours of Operation: 4:30am to 6:00am

Foreign National Pickup Time: 5:45am

News Media Schedule

  • 6:30 – Media depart Kennedy Press Site to SLC 46 for remote camera set-up
  • 11:30 a.m. – Noon – AA-2 Test Overview
  • Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Media one-on-one interviews

Tuesday, July 2

Press Site Hours of Operation: 5:30am to 4:30pm

Badging Hours of Operation: 4:00am to 5:15am

Foreign National Pickup Times: 5:00am

News Media Schedule

  • 6:00 a.m. – Media depart for launch viewing site
  • 6:40 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins
  • 7 a.m. – Launch window opens (four hour window)
  • Approximately two hours after launch – NASA remarks at Press Site

Launch Viewing

Media may view the AA-2 launch from the Kennedy Press Site or the roof of the 5th SLS building at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (space limited). Media who wish to view the launch from the 5th SLS should meet at the Kennedy Press Site at 6 a.m. to be escorted.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 6:40 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, “mission audio,” the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage

Prelaunch and launch day coverage of AA-2 will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 6:40 a.m. on launch day. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact the newsroom at 321-867-2468. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:

Learn more about Orion and this flight test:

Prelaunch and launch day coverage will include blog updates:

For more information about NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration plans, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.