Watch Orbital ATK Test Fire NASA's Orion Launch Abort System

The abort motor for Orion’s launch abort system fired for five seconds in a test at the Promontory, Utah facility of manufacturer Orbital ATK. Credits: Orbital ATK

As summer 2017 quickly gets underway, NASA’s Orion program is making steady progress on a series of different testing programs. In the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at Johnson […]

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

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

Nearly two years after NASA successfully completed the […]

First SLS Orion Completes Pressure Tests, Prepares for Install of Secondary Structures

The Orion crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) is moved by crane along the high bay inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew module was transferred to a proof pressure cell in the high bay for pressure checks. Photo Credit: […]

NASA Shows Off Orion EM-1 Structure at KSC for Inaugural SLS Lunar Flight Test

The Orion pressure vessel for the EM-1 mission currently sits upon an upgraded test stand inside Operations & Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace.com

NASA’s Orion crew module pressure vessel is secured on a test stand called “the birdcage” inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and […]

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: […]

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 […]

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

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

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 […]