Good news, everyone! Orion, NASA's first manned spaceship after the retirement of the space shuttle, is ready for launch this Thursday, December 4. You can see it here at Space Launch Complex 37, on top of a Delta IV Heavy rocket. Meteorologists say there's a "60 percent chance of acceptable launch conditions."

At Space Launch Complex 37, technicians and engineers are finishing closeouts on the Orion/Delta IV Heavy stack and completed work inside the Orion crew module to get everything situated for space. No one will ride aboard Orion, but the spacecraft is carrying numerous sensors to measure conditions throughout the mission, including radiation and temperatures inside the crew module as it reaches 3,600 miles above Earth and then plunges through the atmosphere before opening its chutes and splashing down.

This is what will happen on December 4.

I'm excited, even if it's just a tiny step to get here. But at least it is a step.


SPLOID is a new blog about awesome stuff. Join us on Facebook