Science

Nasa tests launch-abort system for moon mission capsule

Nasa tests launch-abort system for moon mission capsule”

This was the second abort test for Orion, conducted at a speed of more than 800 miles per hour.

About 27 seconds after the abort was triggered, a third motor fired to pull the escape system and shroud away from the Orion capsule at a maximum altitude of about 44,000 feet.

During the test, the booster provided 500,000 pounds of thrust to Orion and LAS to reach a speed of 800 miles per hour and in 55 seconds got up to about 31,000 feet - which would be cruising altitude for a commercial aircraft. The video above was shot by NASA and shows the abort system firing.

Once the jettison motor fires, the system will separate from the crew module.

The test lasted only about three minutes, launching Tuesday from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 46.

The crew module will splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

NASA's Orion spacecraft for the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission to the Moon is being developed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center and will soon head into environmental testing-all in preparation for a 2020 launch.

Weather conditions look fine for NASA's Ascent Abort-2 test, calculated by the Air Force at 70% "go" for launch.

In the event of a delay, conditions improve slightly to 80% "go" on Wednesday.

Officials at Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the Orion program, have hailed the White House's plans, and said Tuesday's test cleared a major hurdle. Those data recorders are all in sealed containers that float and have beacons to help with recovery.

Nasa has successfully the system that could save the lives of the astronauts that are heading to the Moon.

The system is built specifically for deep space missions and to ride on NASA's powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Mike Hawes, Orion program manager for Lockheed Martin Space. From there the astronauts can use another vehicle to descend to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.

Tuesday's launch will not be Orion's first test mission, however. They launched again in December, this time making it to the International Space Station, where they are still working. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule exploded on a test stand in April just before engineers test-fired its abort engines, triggering an investigation that could delay the pod's first crewed flight by several months.

Twelve data recorders were collected during the Orion test capsule's descent and a team will analyze this information to learn more about the abort system's overall performance.

Using Orion and NASA's Space Launch System, which is being built for a debut flight in late 2020, the USA space agency is aiming to return humans to the moon by 2024 in an accelerated timeline set in March by the Trump administration.



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