Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE TRAVEL
Lockheed Martin Keeps Fingers Crossed for Orion's First Test Flight
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 26, 2014


Last week, Orion has completed a 22-mile, 6-hour journey from the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center, to launch pad 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was lifted about 200 feet up and mated to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket that is slated to take the spacecraft for its maiden flight high above.

As we move closer to the highly anticipated first ever test flight of the Orion spacecraft, there's an aerospace company which would be keeping its fingers tightly crossed during this nail-biting moment for the U.S. spaceflight. Lockheed Martin which built the manned capsule that will take American astronauts far beyond Earth, is much more than excited about the milestone flight.

"We live for this kind of project. We will tell our kids and our grandkids about this," Allison Rakes, Lockheed Martin spokesperson told astrowatch.net. The company's hard working crew literally lives for this first step of future deep space exploration.

"We've had a team in Florida working around the clock for the past several months preparing for this moment. Once that Delta IV lifts off, you're going to see quite the celebration," Rakes added.

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company. On Aug. 31, 2006, it was awarded a contract from NASA to design and build the Orion spacecraft. The company is responsible for the design, build, testing, launch processing and mission operations of the spacecraft. Having in mind the latest two spaceflight disasters - Orbital's Antares rocket explosion and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crash - Lockheed Martin shows that safety is the main issue here.

"The data we will collect during Exploration Flight Test -1 (EFT-1) will shape every future deep space mission, and will help to ensure that when a crew is onboard, our systems will keep them safe," Rakes said.

"We're constructing Orion to be the safest spacecraft ever built. For example, to pull the crew to safety in an emergency on the launch pad or during descent, we've developed a Launch Abort System (LAS). The LAS has half a million pounds of thrust and accelerates from 0 to 500 mph in 2 seconds. It can pull the crew a mile up and a mile away from the launch pad in an emergency."

Orion will transport humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit, such as asteroids, the moon and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth. During a space mission it is also important to keep astronauts safe mainly from deep-space radiation, severe cold and extreme heat. Lockheed Martin is convinced that their spacecraft has what it takes to ensure safety at the highest level.

On Dec. 4, Orion will travel 3,600 miles beyond Earth-15 times further than the International Space Station. It will return to Earth at a speed of approximately 20,000 mph for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

The test will provide engineers with data about systems critical to crew safety, such as heat shield performance, separation events, avionics and software performance, attitude control and guidance, parachute deployment, and recovery operations to validate designs of the spacecraft before it begins carrying humans.

"EFT-1 will exercise all of Orion's re-entry systems, including testing the heat shield. We will evaluate the fluctuations between the temperatures and pressure across the shield during the re-entry, evaluate the performance of the thermal protection coating and we will also be looking at accelerations and strain during the water impact," Rakes revealed.

She also pointed out that Orion's heat shield (16.5 feet in diameter) is the largest ever built and is capable of protecting a crew from external temperatures of nearly 5,000 F. It also has a new resin system that can withstand higher temperatures and landing impact.

"Orion will have to withstand landing loads of about 300,000 to 400,000 pounds - That's about equal to the mass of a full-size yellow school bus crashing into the ocean at 20 mph," Rakes noted. This resin was developed by the Lockheed Martin Orion thermal protection system team in partnership with TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading supplier of aerospace thermoset and thermoplastic prepregs.

During the test flight, the spacecraft will return to Earth at a speed of approximately 20,000 mph, but when returning from deep space, the velocity is much higher.

"When a spacecraft re-enters Earth's atmosphere from deep space, it's plummeting at 25,000 mph, or Mach 33. During a re-entry from Mars, Orion would be travelling at about 27,000 mph," Rakes said.

Last week, Orion has completed a 22-mile, 6-hour journey from the Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center, to launch pad 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was lifted about 200 feet up and mated to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket that is slated to take the spacecraft for its maiden flight high above.

What's next for Orion before December's lift off? "Leading up to EFT-1 in the next couple of weeks, the rocket and Orion will be integrated and powered up, and engineers will test and verify interfaces between the two in preparation for the test flight," Rakes revealed.

Let's keep our fingers tightly crossed, because the upcoming test will be crucial for U.S. space exploration. Human spaceflight far beyond Earth commences now, when the Delta rocket is about to make a one small step lifting the Lockheed Martin's craft, making another "giant leap for mankind" possible in the near future.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
AstroWatch Blog
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE TRAVEL
Study Investigates How Men and Women Adapt Differently to Spaceflight
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 17, 2014
In 2011, a report from a National Academy of Sciences' decadal survey emphasized the need to examine and understand the influences that sex and gender have on physiological and psychological or behavioral changes that occur during spaceflight. In response, NASA and NSBRI assembled six workgroups to investigate and summarize the current body of published and unpublished human and animal spa ... read more


SPACE TRAVEL
Young Volcanoes on the Moon

U.K. group to crowd-source funding for moon mission

After Mars, India space chief aims for the moon

China examines the three stages of lunar test run

SPACE TRAVEL
Within Rover's Reach at Mars Target Area 'Alexander Hills'

Mars Exploration Program Director Named

Second Time Through, Mars Rover Examines Chosen Rocks

Mars was warm enough for flowing water, but only briefly

SPACE TRAVEL
The International Space Station officially has an espresso machine

Astronauts to get 'ISSpresso' coffee machine

Tencent looks to the final travel frontier

ESA Commissions Airbus As contractor For Orion Service Module

SPACE TRAVEL
China expects to introduce space law around 2020

China launches new remote sensing satellite

China publishes Earth, Moon photos taken by lunar orbiter

China plans to launch about 120 applied satellites

SPACE TRAVEL
Soyuz docks at Space Station; Expedition 42 joins crew

Italy's first female astronaut heads to ISS in Russian craft

Space station gets zero-gravity 3-D printer

NASA Commercial Crew Partners Continue System Advancements

SPACE TRAVEL
Elon Musk unveils 'drone ship' and 'x-wing' fins for rockets via Twitter

Russian Rocket Supply for Satellites Launches Continues

China launches Yaogan-24 remote sensing satellite

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

SPACE TRAVEL
Hot, Super-Earths Help Track Water-Rich Atmospheres

How to estimate the magnetic field of an exoplanet?

Follow the Dust to Find Planets

NASA's TESS mission cleared for next development phase

SPACE TRAVEL
U.S. supplies Ukraine with counter-mortar radar systems

Versatile bonding for lightweight components

Cloaking device hides across continuous range of angles

A new approach to the delivery of satellites to orbit




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.