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Launch Complex Ready For Orion’s First Abort Flight Test
Gantry for stacking the Orion Launch Abort System

The gantry for stacking the Orion Launch Abort System for upcoming Abort Flight Tests at White Sands Missile Range is shown during construction. (NASA Photo)

NASA has completed work on a 92-acre launch complex that will serve as the test site for abort flight tests of its newest spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which is intended to take astronauts back to the moon.

Located at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, N.M., the launch complex will allow NASA to test the system that will pull the vehicle’s crew to safety if there is an emergency on the launch pad or during the first minutes of flight. The test is important to NASA’s Constellation Program, which is developing a fleet of vehicles that will return humans to live and work on the moon.

› Read News Release 09-08