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NASA Invites Media to Orion Abort Test Before Moon Missions with Crew

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Posted May 24, 2019

Media accreditation is open for an uncrewed flight test of the launch abort system of NASA’s Orion spacecraft on Tuesday, July 2. This test, Ascent Abort-2, will demonstrate the abort system can activate, steer the spacecraft, and carry astronauts to a safe distance if an emergency arises during Orion’s climb to orbit.

On May 22, 2019, engineers move a test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft for the Ascent Abort-2 flight test from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Space Launch Complex 46 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in preparation for its launch this summer. The 21.5 mile trek began around 6 p.m. EDT and finished at 3:18 a.m. May 23, 2019. The team will stack all the test elements together at the launch pad over the next several weeks. Credits: NASA

On May 22, 2019, engineers move a test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft for the Ascent Abort-2 flight test from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Space Launch Complex 46 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in preparation for its launch this summer. The 21.5 mile trek began around 6 p.m. EDT and finished at 3:18 a.m. May 23, 2019. The team will stack all the test elements together at the launch pad over the next several weeks. Credits: NASA

A 22,000-pound test version of the Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida on a rocket provided by Northrop Grumman.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. International media must apply by 4 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 27, for access to Kennedy and CCAFS. U.S. media must apply by 9 p.m. Friday, June 14. All accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

For questions about accreditation, please email [email protected]. For more information, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

During the three-minute test, the spacecraft, with a fully functional launch abort system, will climb to an altitude of about six miles, traveling at more than 1,000 miles per hour. At that point, the system’s powerful abort motor will fire, pulling Orion away from the booster.

In a test targeted for Summer 2019 known as Ascent Abort-2, NASA will verify the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system, a tower on top of the crew module, can steer the capsule and astronauts inside it to safety in the event of an issue with the Space Launch System rocket when the spacecraft is under the highest aerodynamic loads it will experience during ascent for deep-space missions. Credits: NASA

Designing a system for human spaceflight means ensuring there are features in place that protect the astronauts aboard. Data gathered from this test will be used to validate and improve computer models of the spacecraft launch abort system’s performance and functions.

NASA is working to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Space Launch System rocket and Gateway in orbit around the Moon. Orion will sustain astronauts in deep space, provide emergency abort capability, and support a safe re-entry from lunar return velocities. Exploring the Moon helps create a vibrant future and advance technologies, capabilities and new opportunities for future missions to Mars.

Source: NASA

 

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