By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The Michigan Science Center will be hosting a viewing party and celebration Friday for the next generation of space.
The Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 7:05 a.m. Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a four hours and 23 minute two-orbit test flight to test NASA’s next-generation spacecraft for the first time. The flight was scheduled to launch Thursday, but was postponed due to valve issues.
NASA stated the unmanned flight will test the vehicle’s “suitability for human flight” and test the heat shield against 4,000-degree temperatures.
To celebrate the launch, the Michigan Science Center will host a splashdown party from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday for the test flight. Organizers are planning to show a video of the launch on several monitors throughout the Science Center, hands-on straw rocket building, Alka Seltzer rocket demos and live coverage of Orion’s splashdown.
The Orion spacecraft is the next generation of spacecraft following the retirement of the space shuttle in 2013. According to NASA, Orion is built to take humans farther than in space than they have ever gone before.
The Orion spacecraft will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex. While there no companies from Michigan working on the Orion, there are three companies working on the NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.
Applied Dynamics International, of Ann Arbor; Integrity Testing, of Sterling Heights; and Odyssey Industries, of Lake Orion, are suppliers to the rocket which will send humans into deep space for missions to an asteroid and Mars.
This story was updated at 9:56 a.m. Thursday to reflect the rescheduled launch.