[SatNews] On December 5, 2014, the global space community watched as the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) was launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center. After a two-orbit, four-hour flight that took it further from Earth than any other human-rated spacecraft since Apollo 17 in 1972, it returned safely to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near California.
In his congratulations to NASA, Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance and the entire industry-government team involved with this successful first experimental test flight, Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham said, "The world is once again on a firm course of space exploration that will get us out of low Earth orbit, taking humans back to the Moon and on to Mars and beyond. As an early pathfinder for the Orion program, EFT-1 represents a gutsy effort by the entire Orion team to test early, test often and get ahead of the substantial risk involved with any new human rated system."
The flight was the first new U.S.-built human rated space launch system since 1981, and was launched to test various Orion systems, including separation events, avionics, heat shielding, parachutes and recovery operations.
The Space Foundation will honor the NASA/Industry EFT-1 Team for its historic accomplishment with the 2015 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, to be presented on April 13 during the opening ceremony of the Space Foundation's 31st Space Symposium, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman, and held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
About the Morrow Award
The award's namesake was an Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate and early member of the board of directors of the Space Foundation. Designed to recognize those who have made significant contributions to public understanding of, and support for, space programs, the Morrow Award has a long list of distinguished recipients, including during the past decade:
2014 Col. Chris Hadfield (Ret.), former Canadian astronaut
2013 Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society
2012 NASA Social Media Team
2011 Jay Barbree, NBC News; Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press; William Harwood, CBS News
2010 Leonard Nimoy, actor and director
2009 Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist
2008 Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
2007 Col. Eileen M. Collins, USAF (Ret.), former NASA astronaut
2006 Tom Hanks, actor and director