Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will host a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 30 to commemorate the transition of the historic Operations and Checkout Building high bay for use by the Constellation Program. Originally built to process space vehicles in the Apollo era, the building will serve as the final assembly facility for the Orion crew exploration vehicle.

Orion, America’s human spaceflight vehicle of the future, will be capable of transporting four crewmembers for lunar missions and later will support crew transfers for Mars missions. Each Orion spacecraft also may be used to support up to six crewmembers to the International Space Station after the space shuttle is retired in 2010.

Design, development and construction of Orion’s components will be performed by Lockheed Martin for NASA at facilities throughout the country. The first operational launch of Orion atop an Ares I rocket is planned for no later than 2014.

Representatives from NASA, Lockheed Martin, Space Florida and the State of Florida will participate in the ceremony.

Media planning to attend the event should arrive at Kennedy’s press site by 9:30 a.m. for transportation to the facility. Media without permanent Kennedy credentials should submit their request via the online accreditation Web site at:

Since the facility is an operational area, all who participate must be properly dressed in full-length pants, flat or low-heeled shoes that entirely cover the feet, and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops).

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