|Names||Orion Flight Test-1 (OFT-1)|
|Mission type||Uncrewed test flight|
|Mission duration||4 hours, 24 minutes|
|Spacecraft type||Orion MPCV|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 5, 2014, 12:05UTC (07:05 EST)|
|Rocket||Delta IV Heavy|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-37B|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|End of mission|
|Recovered by||USS Anchorage|
|Landing date||December 5, 2014, 16:29UTC|
|Landing site||Pacific Ocean,|
640 miles (1,030 km) SSE of San Diego
|Apogee altitude||5,800 kilometres (3,604 mi)|
Exploration Flight Test-1 or EFT-1 (previously known as Orion Flight Test 1 or OFT-1) was the first test flight of the crew module portion of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Without a crew, it was launched on December 5, 2014, at 12:05 UTC (7:05 am EST), by a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The mission was a four-hour, two-orbit test of the Orion crew module featuring a high apogee on the second orbit and concluding with a high-energy reentry at around 8.9 kilometers per second (20,000 mph). This mission design corresponds to the Apollo 2/3 missions of 1966, which validated the Apollo flight control system and heat shield at re-entry conditions planned for the return from lunar missions.
NASA heavily promoted the mission, collaborating with Sesame Street and its characters to educate children about the flight test and the Orion spacecraft.
The flight was intended to test various Orion systems, including separation events, avionics, heat shielding, parachutes, and recovery operations prior to its flight aboard the Space Launch System on the Artemis 1 mission. Artemis 1 is planned for launch no earlier than November 2022, more than seven years after EFT-1.
EFT-1 Orion was built by Lockheed Martin. On June 22, 2012, the final welds of the EFT-1 Orion were completed at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was then transported to Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout Building, where the remainder of the spacecraft was completed. The Delta IV rocket was put in a vertical position on October 1, 2014, and Orion was mated with the vehicle on November 11.
The four-and-a-half-hour flight took the Orion spacecraft on two orbits of Earth. Peak altitude was approximately 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi). The high altitude allowed the spacecraft to reach reentry speeds of up to 8.9 km/s (20,000 mph), which exposed the heat shield to temperatures up to around 2,200 °C (4,000 °F).
During the flight, the crew module, a structural representation of the service module, a partial launch abort system containing only the jettison motor, and Orion-to-stage adapter were evaluated. The spacecraft remained attached to the dummy service module on the Delta IV's upper stage until re-entry began and relied on internal batteries for power rather than photovoltaic arrays, which were not contained in the structural representation. Data gathered from the test flight were analyzed by the critical design review (CDR) in April 2015.
|L-6:00:00||Orion powered on, mobile service tower retracts. Fueling of Delta IV Heavy begins|
|0:00:00||Launch window opens (7:05 a.m. EST, 12:05 UTC). EFT-1 launches.|
|0:01:23||Reach Mach 1|
|0:05:30||First stage MECO (main engine cut-off)|
|0:05:33||First stage separation|
|0:05:49||Second stage ignition No. 1|
|0:06:15||Structural representation of service module fairing jettison|
|0:06:20||Launch Abort System jettison|
|0:17:39||SECO No. 1 (second engine cut-off), Orion begins first orbit|
|1:55:26||Orion completes first orbit, second stage ignition No. 2|
|2:00:09||SECO No. 2 (second engine cut-off)|
|2:05:00||Enter first high radiation period|
|2:20:00||Leave first high radiation period|
|2:40:00||Reaction control system (RCS) activation|
|3:05:00||Reach peak altitude (5,800 kilometers/3,600 miles)|
|3:23:41||Orion separates from service module and second stage, second stage performs disposal burn|
|3:57:00||Orion positions for reentry|
|4:20:22||Forward bay cover jettisons, parachute deployment begins (two drogues, three mains)|
|4:24:46||Splashdown and recovery by the USS Anchorage crew|
After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, crews from the USS Anchorage recovered the EFT-1 Orion crew vehicle. Plans were later made to outfit the capsule for an ascent abort test in 2017.
|Attempt||Planned||Result||Turnaround||Reason||Decision point||Weather go (%)||Notes|
|1||4 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Hold||—||Fouled Range||A boat entered the launch range.|
|2||4 Dec 2014, 7:17:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 12 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit (21 kn or 24 mph or 39 km/h).|
|3||4 Dec 2014, 7:55:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 38 minutes||Weather||Gust wind excess speed limit (21 kn or 24 mph or 39 km/h).|
|4||4 Dec 2014, 8:26:00 am||Hold||0 days, 0 hours, 31 minutes||Technical||(T-00:03:09)||A fuel fill and drain valve did not close.|
|5||4 Dec 2014, 9:44:00 am||Scrubbed||0 days, 1 hour, 18 minutes||Technical||24-hour recycle.|
|6||5 Dec 2014, 7:05:00 am||Success||0 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes|
The Orion capsule used for EFT-1 is now on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, in the "NASA Now" exhibit.