NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Orion EFT-1



The uncrewed EFT-1 flight will take Orion to an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface, more than 15 times farther than the International Space Station’s orbital position. By flying Orion out to those distances, NASA will be able to see how Orion performs in and returns from deep space journeys. The first Orion spaceflight vehicle will be integrated with the Delta IV Heavy, a rocket built and operated by United Launch Alliance. While this launch vehicle will provide sufficient lift for the EFT-1 flight plan, a much larger, human-rated rocket will be needed for the vast distances of future exploration missions. NASA is currently developing the Space Launch System (SLS), which will provide Orion the capability to carry astronauts to destinations beyond LEO, like an asteroid, Mars and other deep space destinations. After the test flight, Orion will reenter the atmosphere at a speed of over 20,000 miles per hour, returning to Earth faster than any current human spacecraft. As Orion reenters the atmosphere, it will endure temperatures up to 4,000º F— higher than any human spacecraft since astronauts returned from the Moon. Orion will land in the water and be recovered. This early orbital test flight will play an important role in the finalization of Orion’s design and will increase efficiencies and reduce risk.

Alternate Names

  • 40329
  • OrionEFT1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2014-12-05
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Manned Space Flight (United States)


  • Other

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

[] NASA Logo -