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SPACE TRAVEL
Orion Test Article on the Move
by Staff Writers
Sandusky OH (SPX) Nov 02, 2016


Time-lapse video shows the move of Orion's service module from the vibration table to the assembly high bay area in Plum Brook's Space Power Facility. Image courtesy NASA.

Engineers recently lifted and moved a full-scale test version of the 13-ton Orion service module in preparation for upcoming pyroshock tests at NASA Glenn's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

During the tests, engineers will fire pyrotechnics to simulate the shocks the service module will experience as Orion separates from the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

The service module is an essential part of the spacecraft. It will propel, power and cool Orion in addition to providing air and water for the crew.

In this time-lapse video, the Plum Brook team removes the test article from the world's most powerful spacecraft vibration table and transports it into the assembly high bay area in Plum Brook's Space Power Facility.

Prior to the move, the test article passed a series of vibration tests to verify that it can withstand the vibrations as it launches and travels into space.

A thousand sensors collected data on Orion's service module as it was shaken on a vibration table. This testing simulated how Orion's structure flexed and will stand up to 35 tons of spacecraft weight during a launch.

Orion's first flight atop SLS, known as Exploration Mission-1 or EM-1, is targeted to launch in late 2018. It will venture tens of thousands of miles beyond the moon.

The test article was provided by ESA (European Space Agency) and built by Airbus Defence and Space.


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