Science

NASA's Orion spacecraft comes to OH for vacuum testing

NASA's ambitions for human spaceflight haven't been this lofty in decades.

Members of the public again were welcome on Monday morning to view the unveiling of the Orion Spacecraft, and to see the Spacecraft loaded unto a large flatbed trailer to be transported to NASA's Plum Brook Station for testing.

America's next-generation space vessel is on its way to Sandusky for testing. The SLS will launch the NASA crew vehicle Orion and transport this capsule to OH for an important test round before going into space.

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The enormous planes were first developed back in the 1960s, but the NASA aircraft is the last one still flying - and had to be modified before it could carry Orion. There, NASA hosts the world's largest vacuum chamber used to simulate multiple space conditions.

Just this Sunday, Nov. 24, the Orion Spacecraft for Artemis 1 arrived at Mansfield Lahm Airport in Ohio.

NASA unloads the Orion from the Super Guppy. You can't just FedEx it to OH, but NASA has an aircraft specifically for this kind of operation called the Super Guppy. It has a maximum cruise speed of 300 miles per hour (480 kph) and can haul 54,000 pounds (24,000 kg) of cargo. It can also cool the contents of the chamber to -300 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, NASA will test each system on the spacecraft for two weeks to ensure that it is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference. The Artemis 2 mission in 2022 or 2023 will feature a flyby of the moon.



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