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.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan

NASA’s Chandra Observatory finds cosmic showers halt galaxy growth

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan A study of over 200 galaxy clusters, including Abell 2597 shown here, with NASAís Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed how an unusual form of cosmic precipitation stifles star formatio...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA spacecraft nears historic dwarf planet arrival

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took these images of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles away Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position o...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 

 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 
 

NASA releases first global rainfall, snowfall map from new mission

Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM...
 
 

New NASA Earth Science Missions expand view of our home planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space with a fifth newly in orbit ñ after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade. On Feb. 27, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory into space from Japan. Data from...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>