NASA’s Orion spacecraft passes key safety tests
NASA’s Orion spacecraft – designed to carry astronauts in deep destinations like the Moon and Mars – has successfully completed a series of tests for its critical security systems.
The researchers tested the abortion engine for the Orion Interrupt Launch System on June 15, making the engine 17 feet high for five seconds.
The motor is set up on a vertical test stand with its nozzle pointing up towards the sky for testing.
It produced enough thrust to lift 66 large SUVs and helps to qualify the system for future missions with astronauts.
“The launch of the cancellation system is an important part of crew safety on the launch pad and on its way into space,” said Robert Detempsy, head of the Orion launch abortion system.
“This brings us closer to the safety of our spacecraft as we prepare for missions beyond the moon,” Detemps said.
The abortion launch system is positioned above the Orion crew module and will play a vital role in protecting future crews traveling to Orion deep space destinations.
The engine is responsible for abortion to propel the crew module away from the rocket space launch system in case of emergency and one of the three total engines that will send the crew module at a safe distance from a defective rocket and steer properly for descent Insurance in the Atlantic Ocean, if such a situation does not occur at all.
While engineers are beginning to start data analysis, the test verified that the engine can fire in milliseconds when needed and will function as expected under high temperatures.
The researchers also evaluated how the parachute system that ensures that the crew module can safely descend to Earth takes place during a scenario in which an interruption is required during the launch phase.
When Orion returns to Earth from deep space missions beyond the Moon, the system usually deploys the parachute 11 in a precise sequence to slow down the crew module from the relatively slow spatter speeds in the Pacific Ocean.
However, parachutes must also be able to send the crew module to safety in case it is dropped onto a failed rocket without delay for the complete deployment sequence to occur.