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 […]

NASA Seeks American Industry Ideas on Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission Spacecraft Design

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon.Caption and Credits: NASA

NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) plans to send a robotic spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid to pluck a boulder off the surface and move it into a stable orbit […]

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

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

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

NASA Makes Improvements to Orion Heat Shield With Data Gathered From EFT-1

A manufacturing development unit of Orion’s heat shield is being built at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Denver. Engineers are using the unit to verify the new heat shield manufacturing process before it is used on actual flight hardware. Photo and Caption Credit: Lockheed Martin

Engineers working on NASA’s Orion capsule are taking a different […]

NASA Passes Orion Key Decision Point (KDP)-C, As 'No Later Than' EM-2 Date Shifts to April 2023

Both Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) are passing through, or have passed, their Critical Design Review (CDR), and with Key Decision Point (KDP)-C now complete, the stage is set for the first voyages beyond low-Earth orbit by a human-capable vehicle for the first time since the end of the Apollo era. Image […]

Orbital ATK Signs Contract to Provide Launch Abort Motor for Orion

An expanded view of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, showing the crew module, service module, launch escape system, and protective fairings.” Image Credit: NASA

On Tuesday, July 7, Orbital ATK signed a contact with Lockheed Martin to provide the solid rocket motor for the launch abort system of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The […]