CITGO Freedom Over Texas

Spot Orion

Spot Orion Hashtag

Orion GraphicThis full-scale mockup of the Orion spacecraft for the 4th of July Freedom over Texas event is called PORT, the Post-landing Orion Recovery Tests mockup. It is used in NASA’s Johnson Space Center 6.2-million-gallon training pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. This training facility is used to help the agency and its partners develop the right tools and techniques to prepare for recovering Orion from the open sea.

This 20,000-pound PORT will be taking a road trip from Johnson Space Center to Eleanor Tinsley Park on Tuesday, July 2 starting at 7pm. If you see it, #SPOTORION on Twitter or Instagram and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win four free tickets to CITGO Freedom Over Texas on Thursday, July 4, 2019! A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, July 3rd and announced by noon. **Winner will receive specific details on retrieving prize.


When NASA’s Orion spacecraft returns from deep space missions and splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, a team of engineers and military personnel will be responsible for getting astronauts out safely and transporting the spacecraft back to land.

Water Rescue GraphicOrion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to deep space destinations. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during missions and provide safe re-entry to Earth. Orion is scheduled to launch on the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s Space Launch System, in 2020. On that mission, known as Artemis 1, an un-crewed Orion will travel more than 40,000 miles beyond the moon to test the spacecraft before it begins to carry humans on future Artemis missions. It will take at least 25 days to complete the mission.

Orion’s first crewed mission is currently slated for 2022. This mission will prove out the systems and full suite of qualified life support capabilities in the space environment with crew.