Delta IV EFT-1

On December 5th, 2014, NASA, United Launch Alliance and Lockheed Martin embarked on the most ambitious test flight since the Apollo program. Exploration Flight Test One (EFT-1) was designed to test the systems of NASA's Orion capsule by launching the spacecraft on a two orbit journey around the globe in an orbit higher than any man-capable spacecraft has flown since the conclusion of the Apollo program in the 1970's. After lifting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Orion spacecraft circled the Earth twice and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. This flight was delayed one day due to a combination of a boater in the security zone, high winds and an issue with a fill and drain valve on the vehicle. 

A fireball caused by the combustion of excess hydrogen gas engulfs the vehicle after engine ignition and before lift off. 

Orion rises above the shadowy remains of the Apollo program at Pad 34.

Orion on the pad in the minutes before sunrise

Remote camera setup on Pad 34.

Remote camera setup at SLC 37

The force of the vehicle knocked over my remote camera after it captured up close images of the launch. Zipties and a bungee cord were easily snapped.

Orion is rolled out of NASA's Launch Abort System Facility at KSC on Nov. 11, 2014.

During its 6 hour, 22 miles journey to the launch pad, Orion pauses in front of the VAB

                               Launch as seen from UCS-3 tracking camera mound.

Launch as seen from UCS-3 tracking camera mound.

Orion reaches Launch Complex 37B just after 3:00 am on Nov. 12, 2014.

The Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle is prepared for flight in ULA's Horizontal Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.