Press Release

NASA Invites Media To View Orion, Speak With Kennedy Space Center Director

By SpaceRef Editor
April 11, 2013
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NASA Invites Media To View Orion, Speak With Kennedy Space Center Director

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA is offering media representatives at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida an opportunity on Monday, April 15, to see Orion, the spacecraft that could take astronauts on a sample collection mission to an asteroid as early as 2021.

The event, marking three years since President Obama set a goal of sending humans to an asteroid, will begin at noon EDT with a photo and interview availability with Robert Cabana, Kennedy’s center director.

Media should arrive at Kennedy’s Press Site by 11:30 a.m. for transportation to the Operations and Checkout Building. Other speakers include Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development; Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager; and Keith Hefner, Space Launch System Program planning and control manager.

Cabana, Dumbacher, Geyer and Hefner will discuss progress made on final assembly and integration of Orion for its uncrewed Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014. Before Orion’s launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., the production team will apply heat-shielding thermal protection systems, avionics and other hardware to the spacecraft.

During the test, Orion will travel 3,600 miles from Earth, farther than any crewed spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. The main objective is to test Orion’s heat shield at the high speeds generated during a return from deep space.

Media without NASA Kennedy accreditation must apply for credentials by 4 p.m. Friday, April 12. International media accreditation for this event is closed. Badges for this event may be picked up at Kennedy’s badging office on State Road 405. The credential application is located online at:

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide new capability for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, will boost Orion off the planet on a flight test in 2017. SLS is designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions. It will expand human presence and enable new missions of exploration into the solar system.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston manages the Orion Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the SLS Program. Kennedy manages the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, which is preparing to process and launch the new vehicles and spacecraft designed to achieve NASA’s goals for space exploration.

For more information about the Orion program, visit:

For more information on the Space Launch System, visit:

For more information about the Ground Systems Development and Operations program, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.