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NASA Associate Administrator to Highlight Rocket for Orion's Flight Test

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot will address media at the facility where two booster stages for the Orion spacecraft's first trip to space are being prepared for launch. Reporters are invited to the event at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, March 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Launch Complex 37.

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The two boosters of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will be paired with a third booster, all igniting at liftoff, to loft NASA's Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1 later this year. During the flight test, Orion will travel 3,600 miles into space -- farther than a spacecraft built for humans has been in more than 40 years -- and orbit the Earth twice. The capsule will re-enter Earth's atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph, generating temperatures as high as 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

The uncrewed flight will provide engineers with important data about Orion's heat shield and other elements that will help engineers improve the spacecraft that will carry humans to an asteroid and eventually Mars during future missions..

Media credentials for the SpaceX-3 mission are valid for this event. For further information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598.

Media will depart from Kennedy's Press Site by government bus at 10:30 a.m. for Launch Complex 37 and be returned to the Press Site by approximately 12:30 p.m.

NASA has adjusted the times and content of previously scheduled events on Friday, March 14. For an updated schedule of SpaceX-3 prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage items, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/1dsh9dp

For updates on the SpaceX-3 mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacex  

For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/stationnews

For further information about the International Space Station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA's commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

For more information about SpaceX, visit:

http://www.spacex.com

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SOURCE NASA

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