Progress continues to upgrade the flame trench at Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Construction workers with J.P. Donovan of Rockledge, Florida, are on an elevated work stand to install new heat-resistant bricks on the north side of the flame trench. The Pad B flame trench is being refurbished to support the launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. The Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program at Kennedy is helping transform the space center into a multi-user spaceport and prepare for Exploration Mission 1, deep space missions, and NASA’s Journey to Mars. For more information about GSDO, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/groundsystems.
When Orion returns from deep space missions and lands in the ocean, a team will be responsible for safely returning the capsule and crew back to land.
NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program and U.S. Navy personnel are preparing to conduct a water recovery test, called Underway Recovery Test 5 (URT-5), this week, using a test version of the Orion spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean.
During URT-5, the team will demonstrate and evaluate in open water the recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel that are necessary for recovery of the Orion crew module into the well deck of a Navy ship.
The USS San Diego, a test version of Orion, several support boats, and associated hardware and equipment will be used for the test.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and the agency’s Journey to Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch atop the Space Launch System rocket in late 2018.
The first half of the B-level work platforms, B south, for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, arrived by heavy-load transport truck at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 21. The B platforms are the ninth of 10 levels of new platforms for High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
The platform was delivered to the VAB staging area in the west parking lot. A total of 10 levels of new platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, will surround the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing in the high bay.
The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is overseeing upgrades and modifications to VAB High Bay 3 to support processing of the SLS and Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission 1 and deep space missions, including NASA’s Journey to Mars.
Testing of the Orion Service Module Umbilical (OSMU) is complete at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A series of tests, called regressions tests, were performed on the umbilical’s design modifications to validate it for installation on the mobile launcher. The tests were conducted by Kennedy’s Engineering Directorate for the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program.
During the tests, the OSMU was connected to the facility’s Vehicle Motion Simulator 1 and the umbilical’s release mechanism that will connect to the service module was tested to confirm it is functioning properly.
The OSMU will connect from the mobile launcher tower to the Orion service module at about the 280-foot level of the mobile launcher tower. Prior to launch, the umbilical will transfer liquid coolant for the electronics and air for the environmental control system to the Orion service module that houses these critical systems to support the spacecraft. The OSMU also will provide purge air and gaseous nitrogen for environmental control to the Launch Abort System located atop the spacecraft. The OSMU will release and tilt back, away from the service module, before launch.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will launch with the Orion spacecraft atop for its first flight in 2018. The SLS is the rocket that will carry Orion to deep space destinations, including the agency’s Journey to Mars.
A heavy-lift crane lowers the first half of the C-level work platforms, C south, for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, for installation on the south side of High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The C platforms are the eighth of 10 levels of work platforms that will surround and provide access to the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission 1. In view below Platform C are several of the previously installed platforms. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is overseeing upgrades and modifications to VAB High Bay 3, including installation of the new work platforms, to prepare for NASA’s Journey to Mars.