NASA Glenn to Test Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

March 19, 2007

NASA's Glenn Research Center will conduct integrated environmental testing of the Orion crew exploration vehicle in the Space Power Facility at the center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

The environmental tests are designed to demonstrate the ability of Orion hardware to meet specified performance requirements in simulated environmental conditions such as those experienced during launch, in-orbit operations and re-entry. Thermal, acoustic and mechanical vibration and electromagnetic compatibility testing will be conducted on Orion's full assembly. The launch abort system, crew module, service module and spacecraft adapter will be tested.

The work is valued at approximately $63 million during a five-year period from 2007 to 2011. During this period, the Space Power Facility will be augmented with a number of capabilities, including a new acoustic chamber and a mechanical vibration test stand. Specialized equipment that will enable electromagnetic test capabilities also will be added to the thermal vacuum chamber.

"We are pleased to play this essential role in the agency's quest to develop the next generation of space vehicles," said Glenn Director Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. "The Space Power Facility is the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber. The modifications will enhance this world-class facility and allow us to make significant contributions to the development of future space systems."

The Space Power Facility measures 100 feet in diameter by 122 feet in height. The facility currently can simulate in-space conditions such as low vacuum environments and temperature extremes. The facility's wide-ranging capabilities have been used extensively to test rocket payload fairings; orbital hardware, including International Space Station systems; and planetary landing and surface systems such as the Mars Exploration Rover landing systems.

The testing will be performed in support of NASA's Constellation Program, which is developing spacecraft and other systems to support NASA's exploration mission to the moon, Mars and other destinations in the solar system, and its Orion Project Office. Both are located at NASA's Johnson Space Center in, Houston. Glenn is leading development of the Orion service module for the Orion Project Office.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Image: Orion service module stacking assembly secured for flight

Related Stories

Fortifying computer chips for space travel

September 7, 2015

Space is cold, dark, and lonely. Deadly, too, if any one of a million things goes wrong on your spaceship. It's certainly no place for a computer chip to fail, which can happen due to the abundance of radiation bombarding ...

First pieces of NASA's Orion for next mission come together

September 9, 2015

NASA is another small step closer to sending astronauts on a journey to Mars. On Saturday, engineers at the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans welded together the first two segments of the Orion crew module ...

Orion assemblage on track for 2014 launch

December 24, 2012

NASA is thrusting forward and making steady progress toward launch of the first space-bound Orion crew capsule -designed to carry astronauts to deep space. The agency aims for a Florida blastoff of the uncrewed Exploration ...

NASA conducts tests on Orion service module

May 11, 2012

( -- Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center are testing parts of the Orion service module to ensure the spacecraft can withstand the harsh realities of deep space missions.

Recommended for you

Hubble captures a galactic waltz

November 26, 2015

This curious galaxy—only known by the seemingly random jumble of letters and numbers 2MASX J16270254+4328340—has been captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope dancing the crazed dance of a galactic merger. The ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.