December 2014 is the scheduled date for the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission of the Orion space capsule. It will be launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket as a surrogate for the unavailable SLS booster.

Will it carry a Launch Escape System/Launch Abort System (LES/LAS) on this mission?


1 Answer 1


According to NASASpaceflight.com article from December 4, 2013, yes:

Another element that will heading uphill on EFT-1 will be an inert Launch Abort System (LAS).

Most of the LAS won’t be active for the flight – not least because there will be no humans on board the Orion.

However, the jettison motor will be active, allowing for a separation testing during the ascent phase. As such, this will be a nominal detachment of the LAS when it is no longer required during the flight into space, as opposed to an actual abort test.

“The LAS will be the first actively controlled launch escape system ever flown, and it incorporates a throttleable solid-rocket motor for attitude control, a novel reverse-thrust abort motor, advanced solid propellants, and lightweight composite materials in the abort motor case and fairing,” noted LAS project manager for NASA, Kevin Rivers.

The first ascent abort test of the LAS is scheduled for around 2019, after the uncrewed Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1), but in plenty of time ahead of the first crewed mission where it will be required, namely Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2).

Other sources confirm this, for example the Universe Today article on NASA Pressing Towards Fall 2014 Orion Test Flight – Service Module Complete from January 22, 2014.

More about the EFT-1 LAS can be read in the NASASpaceflight.com article on ATK Launch Abort hardware arrives at KSC ahead of EFT-1 article on the same website.


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