Students from five George County Elementary Schools and two Hancock County Elementary Schools waited inside the Infinity Science Center in Hancock County. They were there on an overnight field trip to learn about space exploration, and watch the live launch of Orion. But, after several delays, NASA scrubbed the launch of the unmanned capsule.
Whenever the launch is rescheduled, NASA stands poised to usher in a new era of exploration.
The new Orion spacecraft was set to rocket into orbit Thursday. The unmanned test flight should have lasted 4 ½ hours, circling Earth twice. NASA is aiming for a high point of 3,600 miles so the capsule can be tested during a fast, hot re-entry over the Pacific.
When it goes into space, it will be the first attempt to send a spacecraft capable of carrying humans beyond a couple hundred miles of Earth since the Apollo moon program. The ultimate goal is Mars.
Lockheed Martin is handling the $370 million flight for NASA. A Delta IV (four) rocket will hoist this Orion. Future Orions will use the SLS megarocket under development by NASA.