The front face of the medallion has been rendered in antique bronze effect and bears the inscription.
Orion is America's new spacecraft built to send humans farther than ever before.
NASA marked a critical step on the journey to Mars with its Orion spacecraft during a roaring lift-off into the dawn sky over eastern Florida on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket.
Once on its way, the Orion spacecraft accomplished a series of milestones as it jettisoned a set of fairing panels around the service module before the launch abort system tower pulled itself away from the spacecraft as planned.
The spacecraft and second stage of the Delta IV rocket settled into an initial orbit about 17 minutes after lift-off. Flight controllers put Orion into a slow roll to keep its temperature controlled while the spacecraft flew through a 97-minute coast phase.
The cone-shaped spacecraft did not carry anyone inside its cabin but is designed to take astronauts farther into space than ever before in the future.
Orion's first flight test is expected to be one for the books: the first mission since Apollo to carry a spacecraft built for humans to deep space, the first time NASA's next-generation spacecraft is tested against the challenges of space, and the first operational test of a heat shield strong enough to protect against 4,000-degree temperatures.
From today’s launch on a gigantic United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy from Florida to the expected splashdown under billowing parachutes, the mission will test many of the riskiest events Orion will see when it sends astronauts to an asteroid and onward toward Mars in the future.
"Orion is the exploration spacecraft for NASA, and paired with the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket it will allow us to explore the solar system," said Mark Geyer, program manager of Orion, which is based at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
While the Delta IV Heavy will send Orion on its flight test, SLS will launch the spacecraft on future missions.