NASA finishes Orion system review

November 21, 2006
Orion in lunar orbit. Image credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.

NASA has completed the first systems review of the Orion spacecraft, moving a step closer to the launch of the United States' next human space vehicle.

It was the first system requirements review the National Aeronautics and Space Administration completed for a human spacecraft system since a review of the space shuttle's development in August 1973.

The Constellation Program system requirements review is one of a series that will occur before NASA and its contractors build the Orion capsule, the Ares launch vehicles and establish ground and mission operations. The review guidelines narrow the scope and add detail to the system design.

"We are confident these first requirements provide an exceptional framework for the vehicle system," said Chris Hardcastle, Constellation Program systems engineering and integration manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This team has done a significant amount of analysis which will bear out as we continue with our systems engineering approach and refine our requirements for the next human space transportation system."

A lunar architecture systems review, involving equipment associated with planned surface exploration and science activities on the moon, is to be conducted in the spring of 2009.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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