Monthly Archives: July 2015

Engineers Begin Testing Elements for Orion Service Module

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The Orion crew module adapter structural test article

The Orion crew module adapter structural test article is hoisted at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Credit: NASA

Engineers at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, began the first of a series of modal tests on a structural representation of the crew module adapter (CMA) for Orion. The CMA will connect the capsule to the ESA (European Space Agency)-provided service module for the spacecraft’s next mission, Exploration Mission-1. The service module is designed to be the powerhouse that fuels and propels Orion in space.

The tests at Plum Brook Station shake structural elements at various frequencies to simulate how launch vibrations and acoustics will affect the spacecraft during its trip to space atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. They are being conducted ahead of the arrival of a structural representation of the ESA service module to the facility this fall for additional testing.

Engineers are using a “building block” approach to testing in which they evaluate each piece as the elements composing the service module are stacked atop each other to validate it before flight hardware begins arriving in 2017.

View Orion Work on Flickr

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As NASA’s Orion Program continues developing and building the spacecraft that will fly to space atop the agency’s Space Launch System rocket to new destinations in the solar system, we’re sharing our progress on Orion’s Flickr site.

NASA's Orion Deputy Program Manager Mark Kirasich, right, visits the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where Orion's primary structure is assembled.

NASA’s Orion Deputy Program Manager Mark Kirasich, right, visits the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where Orion’s primary structure is assembled.

There we have photos of recent visits by Orion Program managers to companies around the country which are building critical pieces of the spacecraft, engineers getting essential hardware elements ready for testing, images of the Orion that flew in space in 2014 and many of the people who have contributed their expertise, energy and time to develop, build and fly the spacecraft that will help push the boundaries of human space exploration. Check it out!