To infinity and beyond...
NASA’s brand new Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. And the Mars Exploration Mission-1, scheduled for 2017, will be the first mission to integrate Orion as part of their new 'Space Launch System'.
The first flight test - Exploration Flight Test-1, will launch later this year, sending Orion 3,600 miles above Earth to test the spacecraft’s systems . After orbiting the Earth twice, Orion will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at 20,000 miles per hour, and splash down in the Pacific Ocean.
To commemorate the launch, NASA is inviting members of the public to sign up for 'boarding cards' to have their name carried into space on this, the very first Mars test-flight.
As the Orion has been built for an inhospitable environment with no atmosphere - and we've all been to Whitebank - it seemed ideal that Rochdale's pioneering Hornets should be the first Rugby League club in space, so we SIGNED UP
When Orion leaves the launch pad in December on that first step to exploring another planet, the name 'Rochdale Hornets' will go with it. Unlike other long away trips, it doesn't leave from the Flying Horse: it goes from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 in Florida on or around 4th December this year.