WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is inviting the public to a watch party on the West Lafayette campus for the launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft.
Orion is the nation's first new spacecraft intended for outer-space travel by humans since the Apollo moon program.
During Thursday's launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a Delta IV rocket will lift the unmanned Orion capsule into orbit for a four-hour flight before re-entering Earth's atmosphere. The mission will allow NASA to evaluate systems including avionics, parachutes and the heat shield.
The watch party will begin at 4:30 a.m. EST Thursday in Kurz Atrium of Armstrong Hall on the Purdue campus and include updates from the flight and vehicle recovery teams. The launch is expected at 7:05 a.m. Coffee and pastries will be provided.