What's up at Langley in Exploration?

We are very fortunate to be part of the Constellation Program.  It’s been four years since President Bush announced the plans to return humans back to the moon and then on to Mars and beyond.    The cool part about our jobs (besides looking for a new co-host) is that we get to see some awesome hardware.   Check out two of the many projects going on at Langley to support Constellation.

Pathfinder Crew Module


Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Fabrication of the Pathfinder crew module, one of NASA Langley’s current space hardware projects, is nearing completion.  Upon completion, Langley will transport the Pathfinder crew module to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where it will be used in preparations for Pad Abort-1, the first unmanned test of Orion’s launch abort system.  Rumor has it, the co-host may travel on this pathfinder just like he did in the Orion Flight Test Article (See NE@Orion FTA for more details on the FTA).  HDTV is optional on the trip.

Launch Abort Vehicle Wind Tunnel Testing


Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Here’s a small-scale mockup of the launch abort vehicle used in recent testing in Langley’s 14×22 subsonic wind tunnel.  The launch abort vehicle includes NASA’s new spacecraft Orion and the launch abort system, which will provide a safe escape for the crew in an emergency on the launch pad.

During this test, researchers investigated the interaction and effects of the launch abort system’s jettison motor plume during the separation of the abort system and the crew module.  The plume of the rocket motor was simulated with high-pressure air.  The jettison motor, one of three solid propellant motors in the launch abort system, is designed to separate the spacecraft’s abort system from the Orion crew module during launch.  Unfornuately the co-host could not participate as a crew member in this test.  Even though he barely fit in the crew module, Blair had a tough time closing the hatch.  You can’t win them all.

These are just two of many many projects going on at NASA Field centers across the country.  We can’t wait to head out to White Sands to cover Pad Abort-1 and down to KSC to cover Ares 1-X.

On a side note – Congratulations to SpaceX!

All the best,
Chris
Host

4 thoughts on “What's up at Langley in Exploration?”

  1. HI;I’AM AN ELECTRONICS ENGINEER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURING.THANK YOU NASA FOR LANGLEY IN EXPLORATION IN VIEW OF THE CONSTELLATION PROGRAM BACK TO THE MOON AND BEYOUND. IT IS REALY WELL SPOKEN OF IN CONTEXT OF SHORTLY IN ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING AND STRUCTURE . TO ISOLATE DOWN TODAYS TECHNOLOGYS FULL PROSPECTIVE OF NOW AND FUTURE USE.IS IT POSSIBLY A BETTER FUTURE .THAT WE CAN REACH WITH THIS SYSTEM INTO TOMORROWS WORLD OF EASLY MORE GROUND LAYING .POINT IS WE LOOK SO GOOD NOW WILL WE LOOK ALOT BETTER IN THE FUTURE AS PRESIDENT BUSH DOES NOW TOMORROW AND FOREVER .AND CAN THE PROGRAME BE ADDED TO LIFT MORE TO IT IN TWO ASPECTS COMMUNICATIONS SPACE FLIGHT IN OTHER EASY FORMS ONCE WHERE ON THE MOON AND OTHER THAN MOON BASE EASER HOUSING AND TANSPORT TO MARS THE MORE PORT BETWEEN THE MOON AND MARS.

  2. Thanks for posting the cool pics. It must be awesome getting the opportunity to see all the technology being built. You guys have the best jobs!!!

    Rocketman

    PS. Is it Blair or aka Elton John???? Great video.

  3. Great Article

    Note – We are unable use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

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