Alabamians have a good reason to look to the stars tomorrow. If weather permits, NASA will launch its unmanned Orion capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday morning. The Orion spacecraft is at the center of NASA’s plans to send humans deeper into space, and if the mission is successful, it could pave the way for humans to land on Mars as soon as 2030.
Alabama is deeply involved in the Orion mission, with much of the rocket development taking place in Huntsville.
“The launch will use a Delta IV Heavy rocket assembled at the United Launch Alliance plant in Decatur,” according to the Times Daily. “Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville oversaw development of propulsion elements in Orion’s emergency launch abort system, an innovation that would activate in an emergency during launch or initial ascent to propel the Orion crew to safety. Marshall also had a role in Orion testing.”
NASA will be live streaming the launch. Watch the video below to learn more about the mission and see exactly what some Alabamians have been working on the past few years: