NASA has the first flight of the Orion spacecraft scheduled to take place in the latter half of 2014. More and more elements needed to conduct this mission have been assembled and are being readied for the inaugural flight of NASA’s new spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA

 

Under EFT-1, Orion will conduct two orbits of the Earth and then return to Earth at a blistering 20,000 miles per hour. This test will prove out Orion’s heat shield, parachute, and other crucial systems. Image Credit: NASA

 

Orion Components Arrive at KSC in Preparation for Test Flight

By Jason Rhian

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — There has been talk in some quarters that NASA’s next manned spacecraft, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, will never fly. Someone should probably send NASA a memo. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the space agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, members of the media were taken on a tour of the Launch Abort System Facility where they got to see the Launch Abort System (LAS) that will be used on the first flight of Orion, currently slated to take place next year. This mission has been dubbed Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1).

No one company could develop and build Orion on its own. Even in terms of one component, multiple subcontractors are needed to provide the required hardware. While Lockheed Martin is busy with Orion, Alliant Techsystems was developing, testing, and building the LAS.

Alliant Techsystems, more commonly known as ATK, showcased the company’s LAS at an event held at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Abort Systems Facility (LASF). The solid fuel in this motor is inert. In fact the only working motor on this particular LAS is the jettison motor, which will be used to remove the LAS once Orion has reached orbit.

Read more:Orion Components Arrive at KSC in Preparation for Test Flight « AmericaSpace.

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