Orion spacecraft transfers to Launch Abort System Facility

Orion Spacecraft Transfers To Launch Abort System Facility

NASA and Lockheed Martin have finished fueling the Orion spacecraft with ammonia, hydrazine and high pressure helium at Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. Orion has now been moved to the Launch Abort System Facility for integration with the launch abort system (LAS).

"Once the launch abort system is integrated and functional testing concludes, the spacecraft is considered done," said Michael Hawes Lockheed Martin Orion program manager. "Then in November we'll integrate to the rocket, which is rolling out to the today."

Orion's LAS is a critical launch safety technology designed to immediately pull the capsule and crew out of harm's way in the event of an emergency. The LAS is the highest thrust and acceleration escape system ever created, significantly improving crew safety from pad operations through ascent. It consists of three solid rocket motors: an motor, which steers the crew away from the , a jettison motor, which pulls the LAS away from the crew module, and an abort motor, which propels the crew module away from the launch pad.

During Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) all nominal functions, including separation, will be tested on the LAS, however the abort functions are inactive. The LAS abort functions were previously tested in New Mexico at White Sands Missile Range during Pad Abort Test 1.

During EFT-1, the uncrewed spacecraft will launch on a Delta IV Heavy rocket and will travel 3,600 miles beyond Earth—15 times further than the International Space Station. That same day, Orion will return to Earth at a speed of approximately 20,000 mph for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. EFT-1 will provide engineers with data about systems critical to crew safety such as heat shield performance, separation events, avionics and software performance, attitude control and guidance, parachute deployment, and recovery operations to validate designs of the spacecraft before it begins carrying humans to new destinations in deep space.

  • Orion Spacecraft Transfers To Launch Abort System Facility
  • Orion Spacecraft Transfers To Launch Abort System Facility
    On Sunday, September 27, 2014 the Orion spacecraft was transported from the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility to the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Orion in final assembly at Kennedy Space Center

Provided by Lockheed Martin
Citation: Orion spacecraft transfers to Launch Abort System Facility (2014, September 30) retrieved 20 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-orion-spacecraft-abort-facility.html
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