NASA secured the Delta IV heavy-lift rocket into a vertical launch position on Wednesday at the Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the agency said Wednesday.
Delta IV is scheduled to blast off from the site on Dec. 4 and will aim to lift the Orion capsule approximately 3,600 miles above Earth.
“We“™ve been working toward this launch for months, and we“™re in the final stretch,“ said Bob Cabana, director at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“We“™re 64 days away from taking the next step in deep space exploration,” Cabana added.
Lockheed and NASA engineers are ready to integrate the spacecraft’s launch abort system, which is built to safeguard astronauts in case of a launch vehicle failure.
The agency expects the final Orion-Delta IV integration to occur by mid-November.