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.


 
 

 
boeing-satellite

Boeing receives first order for 502 Phoenix small satellite

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Boeing has received its first commercial order for the 502 Phoenix small satellite from HySpecIQ of Washington, D.C. The satellites will carry the commercial remote sensing industry’s first high...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/Maria-Jose ViÒas

Hubble finds supernova companion star after two decades of searching

Image courtesy of NASA/Maria-Jose ViÒas This is an artist’s impression of supernova 1993J, which exploded in the galaxy M81. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the blue helium-burning companion...
 
 
NASA television image

Space station Expedition 40 crew returns to Earth, lands safely in Kazakhstan

NASA television image A trio of International Space Station crew members returned to Earth and landed in Kazakhstan at 10:23 p.m., EDT, Sept. 10 after spending 167 days aboard the orbital laboratory. Seen left to right, Oleg Ar...
 

 

NASA instrument aboard European spacecraft returns first science results

A NASA instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Rosetta orbiter has successfully made its first delivery of science data from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The instrument, named Alice, began mapping the comet’s surface last month, recording the first far-ultraviolet light spectra of the comet’s surface. From the data, the Alice team discovered the comet i...
 
 

NASA awards OMPS modification for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp. of Boulder, Colo., for the Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite for flight on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 mission. The JPSS-2 mission is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide global environmental data in low Earth polar...
 
 
APL/NASA photograph

NASA probes studying Earth’s radiation belts celebrate two year anniversary

APL/NASA photograph This image was created using data from the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes. It shows the emergence of a new third transient radiation belt. The new belt is seen ...
 




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>