Tuesday, November 8, 2011
WASHINGTON - NASA plans to add an unmanned flight test of the Orion spacecraft in early 2014 to its contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems for the multi-purpose crew vehicle's design, development, test and evaluation. The test supports the new Space Launch System that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before. The Exploration Flight Test will fly two orbits to a high-apogee, with a high-energy re-entry through Earth's atmosphere, then make a water landing. The test mission will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The agency has posted a synopsis explaining its intention on NASA's procurement website. (Source: NASA, 11/08/11) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., is testing engines for the SLS and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, will build portions of the heavy lift launch vehicle.