NASAs First Orion Capsule Ships for Crucial Deep Space Tests

The Lockheed Martin Orion team at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La., inspects the first Orion crew module known as the Ground Test Article (GTA) prior to shipping to Lockheed Martin’s Denver facilities. In Denver, the GTA will be integrated with an encapsulating aeroshell to provide thermal protection before undergoing rigorous testing to verify it can withstand the harsh environments of a deep space mission. The aeroshell will complete the exterior of the spacecraft, as depicted in the hanging banner displayed in the upper left. Credit: NASA

The first Orion spacecraft has just been shipped from NASAs Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orlean’s to a Lockheed Martin manufacturing facility in Denver for crucial tests to simulate the harsh environment of deep space.

The Orion crew cabin – know as the Ground Test Article or GTA – was shipped by truck and will arrive in Denver on Feb. 14 according to a Lockheed Martin spokesperson.

Orion is NASA’s next generation crew vehicle and will eventually replace the Space Shuttle system after the looming retirement of the three orbiter fleet, now reset to mid 2011. (…) Read the rest of NASAs First Orion Capsule Ships for Crucial Deep Space Tests (1,005 words)

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(C) Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | 6 comments | Add to del.icio.us Post

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