Houston Facility Near Johnson Space Center
Lockheed Martin announced this week the opening of its new space
Exploration Development Laboratory in a ceremony dedicating the
facility to support the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's (NASA) Project Orion and Constellation
The new 10,000 sq. ft. Exploration Development Laboratory was
funded by Lockheed Martin and its teammates United Space Alliance
and Honeywell as part of an integrated EDL network that includes
facilities in Denver, CO, Glendale, AZ and Arlington, VA. The EDL
network is designed to reduce cost and schedule risk by providing
an early opportunity to perform systems level avionics and software
testing for Orion in a realistic environment in the development
phase of the program.
"The Exploration Development Lab provides a tremendous benefit
to NASA and the Lockheed Martin team as we begin a very robust test
program for Orion," said Cleon Lacefield, vice president and
program manager of Project Orion for Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
"We are very excited to have the EDL ready and operational for
Orion and Constellation so early in the development phase of the
program. Testing in this new facility has already begun and we
successfully completed the first Pad Abort 1 avionics systems test
for Orion last week."
The EDL in Houston is located adjacent to NASA Johnson Space
Center, enabling the Lockheed Martin team to work closely with
NASA's Project Orion and Constellation Program early in the
development and testing phase to gain clarity on requirements. This
location allows the team to take full advantage of the breadth of
human space flight experience in Houston, including early
involvement and collaboration with astronaut flight crew members
and flight controllers.
Initial testing of critical systems will be done in the EDL,
including the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C),
Automated Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D), crew interfaces, and
software development processes. Avionics system testing will be
performed to reduce risk prior to abort flight testing at White
Sands Missile Range and NASA Kennedy Space Center.
EDL testing also will include system integration tests and
mission tests that employ the team's "test like you fly"
philosophy. The Lockheed Martin team also is working closely with
NASA on a Human Engineering mockup that will be used to perform
fact finding activities, such as reach zone, panel displays,
internal lighting assessment, seat mockup and development, docking
hatch development, crew stowage, hand controller development, and
other human interface devices.
Following EDL testing, the next phase of tests will be done at
NASA's CEV Avionics Integration Laboratory (CAIL). Verification of
requirements in the EDL ensures that certification in the CAIL will
be successful, greatly reducing software development risk.
Orion is America's next-generation human spaceflight vehicle
that will transport up to six astronauts to and from the
International Space Station and up to four to the moon and
destinations beyond, beginning in 2015 after the space shuttle is