On Sunday, December 15, 2013, NASA's Orion test space vehicle was in Little Rock on its way to San Diego. Here are some photos when it was parked at Kenworth trucking facility in the industrial district near the airport overnight.

   The mockup, called a boilerplate test article, has already been used in a number of tests to ensure that Orion will be ready for its first mission, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), scheduled for September 2014. That mission will take Orion to 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface before returning it at speeds of up to 20,000 miles per hour for a splash landing in the Pacific Ocean.
   During the underway recovery tests in San Diego, the mockup will be set adrift in open and unstable waters, providing NASA and the Navy the opportunity to recover the capsule and bring it into the well deck of the USS San Diego. While deployed, the team will seek out various sea states in which to practice the capsule recovery procedures. This will help build a knowledge base of how the capsule recovery differs in calm and rough seas and what the true physical limits are.
   The 18,000-pound mockup is a full-size replica of the Orion spacecraft currently being built at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. NASA and the Navy previously used this mockup to practice recovery in calm seas during a stationary recovery test in August where the spacecraft was set adrift in the waters of Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and recovered into the docked well deck of the USS Arlington. The mockup was also dropped from 25 feet above the water of Langley’s Hydro Impact Basin to simulate different splashdown scenarios. #SpotOrion
   For more information, click on this link:

When I got there after 5, the Moon was rising, so I took advantage of the photo op to have the Moon in the same picture as Orion.

The local ABC affiliate was there. I actually was seen in their 10 p.m. newscast when I was taking pictures.

People were posing at the craft. I heard about it being here on Facebook and went to see. The truck pulling the trailer was having mechanical problems and was being worked on at the xxx. That's why Orion was parked here overnight.

It weighs 18,000 pounds.

We went back after dark.

The Moon was higher.

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