This Day In Astro History

December 5

2014 - Exploration Flight Test 1 (pdf) (wiki) of Orion. Due to a fill-drain anomaly, unresolved during the launch window, on original launch day of Dec 4, the launch was moved to Dec 5, 7:05 am EST.   Orion is step one in NASA's Human Journey to Mars.  Testing computers, control systems, The launch and flight were flawless. Testing was conducted on the spacecraft's jettison systems, computer systems, control systems, the heat shield and recovery procedures.  Orion and it's service module flew to an orbit above 5700 kilometers  (3600 statute miles), further than any human rated craft has flown in 42 years. The landing was so exciting. It's been 42 years since we've seen any capsule recovery in the ocean. The "magnificent" mission was only slightly flawed by the loss of some parachute assets on landing and the less than stellar functioning of the seamist bags.  Orion touched down at 11:29 am EST. "A golden spike as it crosses the bridge to the future." - NASA.   "Day One of the Mars Era" - NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr.

2001 - International Space Station - Expedition Four - launch from KSC aboard space shuttle STS-108, Endevour.  Expedition Four Commander Yury I. Onufrienko,  Flight Engineers Daniel W. Bursch  and Carl E. Walz.  Besides continuing to increase science experiments Expedition Four will complete four space walks furthering the construction of ISS.


Flight Test 1 - Orion on Launch Pad
Orion Ready for Launch
Human-Rated Distance
Orion Comes Home

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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene