CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (WAFF) - The Orion spacecraft is prepared for launch and will be moved to the launch pad on Monday night to United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket.
This is the latest major milestone before the first flight test in December that will make sure the spacecraft and heat shield can handle the stresses of flights that will take astronauts beyond low Earth Orbit.
Orion is a vital part of NASA's plan to send astronauts to MARS.
Orion's move to the launch pad will begin at 7 p.m. CT, and will take about six hours. Orion will be lifted to the top of the rocket later Tuesday morning.
Liftoff is scheduled for Dec. 4 at 7:05 a.m. ET. The unmanned mission will see Orion fly about 3,600 miles above Earth during two orbits before returning to the planet and splashing down off the coast of California.