NASA engineers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida have flipped the Orion spacecraft’s “on” switch for the first time.
Orion’s avionics system, including its management computer and data distribution system, was powered up and successfully tested on the craft last week.
The deep space craft, designed for manned missions to an asteroid and beyond, is scheduled to make its first test launch in about a year.
The test flight will see Orion launched on a Delta IV heavy rocket about 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface.
NASA is developing a new Space Launch System to power the craft for further launches into deep space.