NASA's Orion Spacecraft Is Complete, Assembled, and Ready for Integration Ahead of Final Testing
With the Orion, a spacecraft like none other in its design and capability, the goal of humans again walking on the Moon is one giant leap closer.
Lockheed Martin Corporation has finished building the capsule for NASA's Orion spacecraft – the spacecraft for the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon – which now sits atop the recently constructed Orion service module.
While the first mission will be uncrewed, it will pave the way for future missions where NASA astronauts revisit the lunar surface.
“Orion is a new class of spaceship, uniquely designed for long-duration deep space flight, that will return astronauts to the Moon and eventually take the first humans to Mars, and bring them all back safely,” says Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin. “Orion will accelerate scientific discovery of our solar system and will be the cornerstone of the defining space achievement of this era.”
The crew module and service module were stacked together earlier in the week in the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) cell where they are now being fully integrated, including connecting the physical retention bolts and the umbilical lines between the two modules. The FAST cell is also where the Apollo spacecraft were integrated.
William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.