Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KSC Prepares for Orion Assembly


An Orion mockup arrives at Kennedy Space Center on February 8. Image source: NASA.

SpaceflightNow.com reports on preparations for the first Orion test capsule to Kennedy Space Center by late spring.

Now under construction in Louisiana, the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle will be shipped to Florida in May, when engineers will start crafting the capsule into a flight-ready spacecraft.

Inside the space center's Operations and Checkout Building, technicians will add the Orion craft's heat shield, flight computers and avionics boxes. Lockheed Martin Corp., Orion's prime contractor, selected the O&C Building for final assembly of the spacecraft.

Engineers in Florida will start receiving flight hardware for the first space-bound Orion as soon as March, as components for the craft's service module arrive at the space center. A structural mock-up of the service module will fly on the first mission in 2013 or 2014.

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