Space

November 8, 2013

Lockheed Martin team tests Orionís protective panels

LM-Orion1
Testing at the Lockheed Martin Sunnyvale facility in California using a series of precisely-timed, explosive charges and mechanisms, proved the Orion spacecraft can successfully jettison its protective fairing panels.

The Orion spacecraft has three fairings that protect the service module radiators and solar arrays from heat, wind and acoustics during ascent. This test was the second in a series of fairing separation testsóthis time adding a thermal element. Engineers used strip heaters to heat one of the fairings to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, simulating the temperature the spacecraft will experience during its climb to orbit.

The testing revealed there was a successful separation of all three fairings while under flight-like thermal and structural conditions. The separation velocity and trajectory of each panel were within the Lockheed Martin predicted tolerances. The test data provides a high level of confidence that the panels will jettison as expected during the launch vehicle ascent.
LM-Orion3
This successful test provides the Orion team with the needed data to certify this new fairing design for Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) next year. The test also provides significant risk reduction for the fairing separation on future Orion manned missions, said Lance Lininger, engineering lead for Lockheed Martinís Orion mechanism systems.

Unique to Orion, the spacecraftís fairings support half the weight of the crew module and the launch abort system during launch and ascent. This is a new design that improves performance, saves mass, and maximizes the size and capability of the spacecraft.

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is NASAís first spacecraft designed for long-duration, human-rated, deep space exploration. Orion will transport humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit, such as asteroids, the moon and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to NASA for Orion, and is responsible for the design, build, testing, launch processing and mission operations of the spacecraft.

In September 2014, Orion will complete its first high orbital mission. EFT-1 will launch an uncrewed spacecraft from NASAís Kennedy Space Center 3,600 miles beyond low Earth orbit. On the 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 critical data about Orionís heat shield, flight systems and capabilities to validate designs of the spacecraft before it begins carrying humans to new destinations in the solar system.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
nasa-astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut, spacewalker retires from NASA

Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman has retired from NASA to join a Houston-based consulting firm. A retired captain in the U.S. Navy, Foreman’s last day with the agency is July 31. “Mike is a great American who has served our ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA selects proposals to study neutron stars, black holes, more

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. NASA has selected five proposals subm...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech  image

NASA’s Spitzer confirms closest rocky exoplanet

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This artist’s concept shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transitin...
 

 

NASA awards contract to support agency’s human spaceflight programs

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, Calif., to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph

NASA’s Kepler mission discovers bigger, older cousin to Earth

NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar system. Kepler-186 is a miniature solar system that would fit entirely inside the orbit of ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>