Press Release

Media Day At Johnson To Explore NASA’s Journey To Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
November 7, 2014
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As NASA gears up to launch its first flight test of the Orion spacecraft in less than a month, reporters are invited to visit NASA’s Jonson Space Center on Nov. 19and explore the proving ground and the journey that eventually will lead humans to Mars.

“NASA’s Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 is an important step for NASA’s exploration plans beyond low-Earth orbit by testing many key systems such as the heat shield, flight computers, parachutes, power systems, and guidance navigation and control,” said JSC Exploration and Integration Systems Director Steve Stich.

NASA is developing the first-ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, and send astronauts to return samples to Earth.

“This uncrewed flight test is important for the Asteroid Redirect Mission because Orion is the spacecraft for which the crew will live and work to accomplish this 26-28 day mission in the 2020s, farther in space than humans have ever traveled,” Stich said.

The Asteroid Redirect Mission will advance NASA’s human journey to Mars, testing the capabilities needed for future crewed missions to the Red Planet.    

Activities will begin at 8 a.m. Nov. 19. During the media event, reporters will get a behind-scenes look at the latest technology developments that could be used in future exploration missions, including a next-generation spacesuit and spacewalk tools and advanced life support systems. They’ll have opportunities to talk to veteran astronauts who are conducting the first simulated asteroid mission spacewalk dives at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory to test these new developments. 

Reporters will meet JSC Director Ellen Ochoa and NASA program representatives of the Exploration, Orion and Robotics programs and have live interview opportunities with these experts.

Media also will tour the Mission Control Center, including the flight control room for Orion’s first test; the Orion mockup and the space capsule, Orion cockpit displays and docking system hardware; the lunar and asteroid sample curation laboratory to learn sample collection and containment techniques; and the Food Laboratory to talk with a scientist about future exploration food technologies.

To register for this event, U.S. reporters must contact the JSC Newsroom by 5 p.m. CST Thursday, Nov. 13. The registration deadline for non-U.S. citizens is 5 p.m. CST Monday, Nov. 10.

For more information about Orion its flight test, visit: 

For more information about NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, visit: 

Follow the conversation on Twitter @NASA_Johnson, #JourneytoMars


SpaceRef staff editor.