Orion EFT-1


Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) was the first planned uncrewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Lockheed Martin Space Systems conducted the spaceflight in 5 December 2014 under contract to NASA.

Orion EFT-1

NASA’s Orion during Exploration Flight Test-1….an Artist’s Impression.


The main flight objective was to test Orion’s heat shield performance at speeds generated during a return from deep space.

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft was launched by Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA in 5 December 2014. It was Orion’s first actual flight to orbit. The mission consist of 2 orbits.


Launch: 5 December 2014
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy
Crew: 0

Lockheed Martin was responsible for performing the flight test and supplying the test data to NASA. The test launched NASA’s Orion spacecraft farther into space than any human spaceflight vehicle since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

NASA – Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 insignia.


Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) took Orion to an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, more than 15 times farther away from Earth than the International Space Station (ISS). It was farther than any spacecraft designed to carry humans had gone in more than 40 years. The mission lasted lasted four hours and 24 minutes.

Orion returned home at a speed almost 5,000 miles per hour faster than any current human spacecraft in 2014. It tested the kind of return that would be required when astronauts come home from voyages beyond low Earth orbit. As Orion re-entered the atmosphere, it endured temperatures almost 2,000 degrees F, higher than any human spacecraft since astronauts returned from the Moon.

On its return to Earth, the Orion Spacecraft splash down in the Pacific Ocean at 640 miles (1,030 km) from San Diego, California, USA. and was recovered. It was recovered by USS Anchorage.

Did you know?

* It was previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1.

* NASA is acquiring the EFT-1 test data for Orion design and development.

* Delta IV Heavy is operated by United Launch Alliance.

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Orion Eft-1 – Medallion Token Nasa Space Program America’s New Spacecraft

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EFT-1 Links:

NASA’s Orion Moves Closer to Next Giant Leap: NASA article 8 March 2012
NASA – Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Insignia: from NASA – May 2012
Exploration Flight Test-1 Fact Sheet: by NASA (pdf) – 18 May 2012

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