Thursday, February 21, 2013
ATK delivered a launch abort motor to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1) of NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, set to fly next year. The test flight abort motor is configured with inert propellant since EFT-1 will have no crew. The abort motor is part of Orion's Launch Abort System (LAS), designed to pull the Orion crew module away from the launch vehicle in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during the initial ascent. Having an inert abort motor in the LAS stack for EFT-1 helps NASA achieve its goals simulating the same weight, structure and aerodynamics of the live motor configuration. The launch abort motor is more than 17 feet tall, measures three feet in diameter, and includes a revolutionary turn-flow rocket manifold technology. ATK is on contract to Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor building the Orion spacecraft. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/21/13) Gulf Coast note: Orion was built in part at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.