Wednesday, July 4, 2012

MAF-built Orion at KSC

Lockheed Martin photo
The first space-bound Orion spacecraft crew module has been delivered to the Operations and Checkout Building on NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The crew module structure recently underwent its final friction stir weld at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, and was transported to KSC to be readied for its Exploration Flight Test in 2014. Over the next year and a half the crew module will undergo final assembly, integration and testing at KSC in preparation for the Exploration Flight Test. Additional subsystems will be installed, including propulsion, thermal protection, environmental control, avionics, power, mechanisms, and landing and recovery systems. The EFT-1 flight, using a Delta IV rocket, will be NASA's first orbital flight test beyond low Earth orbit since the 1960s. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 07/02/12) Stennis Space Center, Miss., tests the rocket engines that will be used in the massive Space Launch System that will launch future Orion flights.