Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lockheed Martin Unveils Orion Simulation Center

NASA's Orion web site features the above photo of Orion at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans last month, prior to shipping to Denver, Colorado.

Aviation Week reports that "Lockheed Martin unveiled its suburban Denver Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC) on March 21, a large development, evaluation and testing facility for NASA’s Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle."

Lockheed hopes to launch Orion on its first test flight in 2013 and prepare for congressionally mandated operations by the end of 2016 ...

Orion would be restricted to crew rescue duties at the International Space Station under the strategy outlined by President Obama last year. However, Congress favors the deep-space exploration mission designated by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. The facility’s capabilities include Orion space station docking as well as asteroid encounter simulations.

The article also notes, "The company has developed a range of prospective deep-space missions that follow the 'flex path' strategy outlined by the Obama administration-appointed Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee in 2009."

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