Tomorrow morning, NASA will launch an ambitious mission: the first test flight of the Orion Spacecraft. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is a vehicle designed to take humans beyond Low Earth Orbit – the first spacecraft since the Saturn rocket (which powered the Apollo missions) to do so. This is particularly exciting, because it’s in these vehicles that we’ll begin to head to other places in the solar system. Our next destinations are likely asteroids or Mars.
Saint Michael’s COllege will be hosting a viewing party to watch the launch tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. The launch will take place at 7:05 am, barring any holds in the countdown. Here’s what they have to say about it:
Beginning at 6 AM, guests are invited to learn about Orion, view the flight from launch (scheduled for 7:05 AM) to splashdown (at approximately noon), and enjoy live mission updates throughout the event. Guests will hear NASA commentary prior to Orion’s launch, and learn about the flight and mission objectives through interviews with experts at NASA, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance. They will see the launch pad and launch control center, and feel as though they are at the launch site when the main engines ignite.
The event will be hosted by Dr. John O’Meara of Saint Michael’s college and will be located in Cheray Hall 101 at St. Michael’s College. The event is free to the general public.
Across the state, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, won’t be open for the launch, but from 11:00am to 1:00pm, they’ll be broadcasting the event and splashdown in the museum. Stop by on Saturday for a re-broadcast of the launch, where they’ll have trivia and activities.
For those unable to make the events, the launch will be livestreamed on NASA’s website.