NASA: Orion’s service module for NASA’s Artemis 1 mission completed acoustic testing inside the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week. The tests were the latest step in preparing for the agency’s first uncrewed flight test of Orion on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
Teams completed the test May 25, 2019, and technicians will analyze the data collected during the tests to check for flaws uncovered by the acoustic environment. During the testing, engineers secured the service module inside the test cell and then attached microphones, strain gauges and accelerometers to it. They conducted a series of five tests, with acoustic levels ranging from 128 to 140 decibels – as loud as a jet engine during takeoff.
Artemis 1 will be the first mission launching Orion on the SLS rocket from Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B. The mission will take Orion thousands of miles past the Moon on an approximately three-week test flight. Orion will return to Earth and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, where it will be retrieved and returned to Kennedy.
Very nice picture and a fun albeit stressful training session.
NASA: On Nov. 1, 2018, the USS John P. Murtha recovered the test version of the Orion capsule at sunset in the Pacific Ocean. The Underway Recovery Test-7 (URT-7) is one in a series of tests that the Exploration Ground Systems Recovery Team, along with the U.S. Navy, are conducting to validate procedures and hardware that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft after it splashes down following deep space exploration missions. Orion will have the capability to sustain the crew during space travel, provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities, and emergency abort.
Photo edited by NASA/Ron Beard, Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray
NASA – The Airbus team poses with the European Service Module during preparations for shipment to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The module is scheduled to depart Germany on November 5, arriving at Kennedy on November 6. For the first time, NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft, extending the international cooperation of the International Space Station into deep space.
The European Service Module is a unique collaboration across space agencies and industry including ESA’s prime contractor, Airbus, and 10 European countries. The completion of service module work in Europe and shipment to Kennedy signifies a major milestone toward NASA’s human deep space exploration missions.
On Friday, Nov. 16, an event at Kennedy Space Center and live on NASA Television will mark the module’s arrival. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Jan Wörner, as well as other senior leaders from NASA and ESA will discuss the international cooperation needed to send humans to the Moon and Mars.
An impressive amount of power developed as the RS-25 engine is hot-fired on 19 October. This engine has a great history of reliability in the NASA shuttle program and will power the new Space Launch System.
In October of 2018 four of these engines will power the first flight test of SLS with Orion which will carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond the moon, deeper than any human-rated spacecraft has gone, to test the performance of the integrated system.
The Super Guppy, an aptly named NASA cargo plane might look unwieldy but don’t let looks fool you; this plane can deliver large items.
The image here for example shows the cargo bay of the plane and a new heat shield being unloaded at Kennedy Space Center (Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis).
The heat shield will protect the new Orion spacecraft from the intense heat of re-entry. The heat-shield, built by Lockheed Martin in Colorado will withstand temperatures of 2,760 C / 5,000 F. The 5 meter / 16.5 ft diameter heat-shield plus crating fits easily inside the Guppy.