Orion, SLS Development Continues to Take Shape for Inaugural Late 2018 Launch

An SLS Block 1 launch vehicle hoists an Orion spacecraft from KSC's Pad 39B, with the VAB in the distance. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

An SLS Block 1 launch vehicle hoists an Orion spacecraft from KSC’s Pad 39B, with the VAB in the distance. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It seems as if we’re galloping toward the end of 2016, and we’re getting closer by the day to the “dawn” of a new U.S. launch vehicle and human-rated spacecraft. […]

Orion EM-1 Taking Shape at KSC, Spacecraft's LAS Jettison Motors Continue Testing

From NASA: "The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft's critical systems, including propellant lines." Photo Credit: NASA

From NASA: “The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft’s critical systems, including propellant lines.” Photo Credit: NASA

Nearly two years after NASA successfully completed the […]

NASA Announces Payloads for First SLS Mission

An SLS in its Block 1 configuration goes up, up, and away in this artist’s rendering. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It may still be almost three years into the future, but the maiden voyage of NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) booster—destined to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in five decades—drew […]

First SLS Work Platform Installed in KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building High Bay 3

From NASA: "Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 325-ton crane lifts the first half of the K-level work platforms up for installation in High Bay 3 on Dec. 22. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor." Photo Credit: NASA/Glen Benson

From NASA: “Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 325-ton crane lifts the first half of the K-level work platforms up for installation in High Bay 3 on Dec. 22. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor.” Photo Credit: […]

One Year After EFT-1: What's Been Learned, What's Ahead for NASA's Orion in 2016

It's been one year since the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and in the time since NASA and Lockheed Martin have learned quite a bit about how their capsule flies in space, and have begun applying those lessons to the actual spacecraft that will fly beyond the moon in 2018 on the first launch of NASA's colossal Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

It’s been one year since the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and in the time since NASA and Lockheed Martin have learned quite a bit about how their capsule flies in space and have begun applying those lessons to the actual spacecraft that will fly beyond the moon in 2018 on the first launch […]

NASA Contracts With Aerojet Rocketdyne to Restart RS-25 Engine Production for SLS

Four RS-25D engines will power the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Image Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne

The opening salvo of four Space Launch System (SLS) flights, beginning with Exploration Mission (EM)-1 in November 2018, will contain a core stage powered by four clustered RS-25D engines. Image Credit: NASA

More than four years since three of its kind were last fired in anger, on 8 July 2011, to deliver Atlantis’ STS-135 […]

Orion Heat Shield Receives Upgrade, Ahead of EM-1 Mission

Returning from lunar distance, the Thermal Protection System (TPS) of Orion's Crew Module (CM) is expected to endure markedly higher temperatures than those experienced by returning shuttles. Image Credit: NASA

Returning from lunar distance, the Thermal Protection System (TPS) of Orion’s Crew Module (CM) is expected to endure markedly higher temperatures than those experienced by returning shuttles. Image Credit: NASA

Nearly 12 months since it embarked on its long-awaited Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1 mission—which accomplished the farthest distance ever attained from the Home Planet […]

Lockheed Martin Moves Into Full-Scale Assembly of NASA's SLS EM-1 Orion Spacecraft

The aft bulkhead for the Exploration Mission (EM)-1 spacecraft welded to the barrel of the Orion pressure vessel at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: NASA / Radislav Sinyak

Just six weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of the triumphant maiden voyage of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)—which saw […]

Capping A Milestone Year, NASA Announces Completion of SLS Critical Design Review

The SLS. Image Credit: NASA

From NASA: “For the first time in almost 40 years, a NASA human-rated rocket has completed all steps needed to clear a critical design review (CDR). The agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) is the first vehicle designed to meet the challenges of the journey to Mars and the first exploration class rocket since the […]

Astronauts Practice Orion Crew Recovery as Aerojet Completes Major Subsystems Review for EM-1 Spacecraft

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

After spending a long period of time traveling in the vacuum of space, […]