Saturday, January 7, 2012

KSC Prepares for Orion

An Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle test January 6 at Langley Research Center. Image source: NASA.

Florida Today reports that Kennedy Space Center is preparing to build NASA's new Orion spacecraft.

The effort marks a huge first for Florida’s Space Coast. It will be the first time a NASA spacecraft production operation takes place at the launch site rather than a factory elsewhere.

NASA spacecraft always have been built in other states; then the finished product would make its way to the Cape for launch.

“We actually moved the factory here,” said Jules Schneider, senior manager for Orion assembly, integration and production operations for Lockheed Martin. “So we’ll actually integrate the spacecraft here — build it, test it, and then we’ll deliver it to NASA.”

About 260 people already work on Orion at KSC. That number will increase to 350 to 400 by June as preparations for the first flight test in early 2014 pick up.

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