NASA Conducts Full-Scale Test Firing of Orion Jettison Motor

Jul 21, 2008
A full-scale rocket motor fires from the Aerojet facility in Sacramento, Calif. This test will help in the development of NASA's Orion jettison motor that is being designed to separate the spacecraft's launch abort system from the crew module during launch. (Aerojet)

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA completed a full-scale rocket motor test on Thursday, July 17, to further development of the Orion jettison motor, which will separate the spacecraft's launch abort system from the crew module during launch. Orion, the Constellation Program's crew exploration vehicle now under development, will fly to the International Space Station and be part of the spaceflight system to conduct sustained human exploration of the moon.

NASA and Aerojet successfully fired the jettison motor at the Aerojet facility in Sacramento, Calif. The demonstration is part of a series of developmental tests that pave the way for delivery of the motor to be used for the first full-scale test of the launch abort system at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico late this year.

Engineers will use the test firing to verify that the motor meets specification requirements and to help define induced acoustic, vibration and shock loads caused by the motor. The successful test firing of the jettison motor increases the technical readiness of the launch abort system and is the first full-scale rocket propulsion element qualified to proceed into a system-level demonstration. The test firing also verified that the system’s design criteria and manufacturing processes are in place.

This test and others like it are critical milestones in NASA's preparations for a series of flight tests of the full Orion abort system. The launch abort system will provide a safe escape for the crew in an emergency on the launch pad or during the climb to orbit.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

Related Stories

Successful SpaceX escape test 'bodes well for future'

May 07, 2015

SpaceX's Dragon capsule sailed through the first flight test of its emergency astronaut escape feature Wednesday, a critical step toward launching people into space from US soil in the next two years.

Flexing new muscles on the International Space Station

Apr 13, 2015

When people conjure an image of a robot in their mind, they may imagine something out of a steampunk story—complex gears, rotors and clockworks. All metal, no muscle—but that's all about to change.

Recommended for you

Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

4 hours ago

A new view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 23, shows finer detail is becoming visible on the dwarf planet. The spacecraft snapped the image at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) ...

Ariane 5's second launch of 2015

15 hours ago

An Ariane 5 lifted off last night from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

User comments : 0

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.