Mon, Mar 31, 2008
Late in the evening of March 27, the Orion crew module simulator
was loaded on a C-17 aircraft for its next step on a mission to
complete the next generation of NASA's apce transportation system.
The Orion crew module simulator weighs nearly 20,000 pounds.
Next stop -- NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards,
California, for more flight test work -- including the installation
of flight computers, instruments and other electronics.
Late this year, the full-size structural model will be propelled
off a simulated launch pad at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile
Range in New Mexico to test Orion's astronaut escape system, which
will ensure a safe, reliable escape for astronauts in case of an
Orion is the Constellation Program's new crew exploration
vehicle, set to carry as many as four crew members to lunar orbit
and return its crew safely to Earth after missions to the moon's
surface. The 16.5 foot wide, cone-shaped capsule also will provide
transport services to the International Space Station for as many
as six crew members.
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