Electric atmosphere at pre-launch Orion update - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Electric atmosphere at pre-launch Orion update

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden joked about Orion's launch using a term coined by a vice president: "A 'BFD.'" (Source: WAFF) NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden joked about Orion's launch using a term coined by a vice president: "A 'BFD.'" (Source: WAFF)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (WAFF) -

A lot of people working the Orion mission are going to bed early Wednesday evening, getting ready to start their pre-flight activities that begin later on in the night.

Orion stretches its legs, so to speak, when it is launched for a test flight Thursday morning.

We got a chance to go out to the launch pad Wednesday, where the unmanned crew capsule sits on top of the Decatur-built Delta IV Heavy rocket awaiting 

It's a massive vehicle, the most powerful flying from Earth today.

NASA officials said the excitement is palpable - reminiscent of the first Apollo missions. It's our first step of sending humans beyond low-earth orbit.

We all know NASA is known for its acronyms. Wednesday, Administrator Charlie Bolden went out on the edge to describe the historic launch.

"It's a huge day for us. I have come accustomed to using the term 'BFD.' If you don't know what that means, I'll let someone else explain it to you. I got that from the vice president," Bolden laughed.

Bolden got emotional talking about the mission at the launch complex. He says this is exactly what he wanted to see: excitement from the international space community. 

Star power of the Hollywood set were also in attendance Wednesday. Star Trek actor LeVar Burton was on hand to share in the experience.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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