NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Orion spacecraft. Animation of post-launch separation during a test flight of the Orion spacecraft. This manned spacecraft is being developed by NASA, the US space agency. It is designed to be launched using a Delta IV Heavy rocket. This animation shows the rocket and spacecraft soon after launch at suborbital levels. During the sequence, the second rocket stage (Delta Cryogenic Second Stage, DCSS) separates from its central main stage (Common Booster Core, CBC). Following this, the DCSS engines ignite, the fairing deploys, and the launch abort system (LAS, tower at tip of rocket assembly) is discarded. As the LAS falls back to Earth, the DCSS boosts Orion higher towards full Earth orbit. The first Orion test flights are proposed for 2014. For different stages in an Orion test flight, see clips K003/2141-2144.
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