Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Orion

  • NASA OIG: SLS unlikely to launch in 2018

    Jason RhianApril 15th, 2017

    NASA.s Office of Inspector General has issued an audit detailing how the agency's Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will likely not launch in 2018. This might be a moot point as NASA is considering flying EM-1 with a crew, which would push the launch to 2019 anyway. These are some of the issues facing the first flight of the agency's new rocket.

  • Laser communications to provide faster connections for Orion

    Paul KnightlyApril 4th, 2017

    NASA engineers are continuing to push the limits of laser communication technology by developing a new system called LEMNOS that is to be tested on the second flight of the Orion spacecraft just beyond the Moon. Also referred to as optical communication, laser communication between a spacecraft and the Earth holds the promise of allowing higher data transmission rates than are currently possible.

  • NASA conducts successful Orion parachute test

    Lloyd CampbellMarch 14th, 2017

    NASA conducted another Orion parachute test on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, and the test vehicle performed perfectly. A C-17 aircraft lifted the Orion engineering model equipped with instrumentation to document the test, to a height of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) before releasing it for its controlled descent.

  • Orion update: progress and setbacks in February 2017

    Mackenzie KaneMarch 13th, 2017

    NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Hensel Phelps Construction Co. successfully completed the modifications to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in early February, making room for the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

  • NASA authorization bill passes Congress

    Derek RichardsonMarch 8th, 2017

    The first NASA authorization act in more than six years has cleared Congress and is on its way to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 7, 2017.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne completes testing of Orion spacecraft auxiliary engines

    Jim SharkeyMarch 6th, 2017

    Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed hot-fire acceptance testing of eight auxiliary engines that will be used on the first flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The flight, called Exploration Mission (EM) 1, is scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 2018.

  • EM-1 could become Apollo 8 for the 21st century

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 24th, 2017

    NASA is taking a hard look at having crew fly on the first integrated mission of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) super-heavy-lift rocket and Orion spacecraft. At present, NASA is only undertaking a feasibility study, reviewing what risks would be incurred, what needs to be added to allow for this happen, and what potential benefits could be had.

  • NASA studying the possibility of adding crew to EM-1

    Curt GodwinFebruary 16th, 2017

    On Feb. 15, 2017, Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator, announced that he was ordering a study on the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). This would mark a significant change from the agency's current mission roadmap, which has EM-1 flying uncrewed in 2018, with crew ultimately launching several years later on EM-2.

  • Insider Exclusive: JSC’s Astronaut Office innovating a path forward

    Jason RhianFebruary 10th, 2017

    HOUSTON, Texas — A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft is prominently placed within the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center. We sat down with Rick Mastracchio, a four-time spaceflight veteran with more than 227 days on orbit about how the Astronaut Office at JSC is working to make the agency's new Orion spacecraft more self-sufficient than those that preceded it.

  • Tornado damages NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

    Jason RhianFebruary 7th, 2017

    NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) was the site of a confirmed tornado strike at 11:25 a.m. CST (12:25 p.m. EST / 17:25 GMT). So far, only minor injuries have been reported and NASA is accounting for all of its personnel and contractors as well as assessing damage caused by the storm.

  • Insider Exclusive: Orion designed to keep crew in the ‘loop’

    Jason RhianFebruary 1st, 2017

    JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas — NASA's next crew-rated spacecraft, Orion, has been engineered so that the vehicle is designed with the crews – who will fly on it – firmly in mind. Its windows, flight controls, even the seats for the roughly 22,899 lbs (10,387 kg) vehicle are being carefully crafted to guarantee mission success.

  • Orion service module completes testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    Michael ColeJanuary 23rd, 2017

    SANDUSKY, Ohio — The European-built Orion service module is progressing successfully through its campaign of testing in preparation for EM-1, scheduled for late 2018. Engineers and technicians at NASA's Plum Brook Station testing facility in Sandusky, Ohio, carried out an exhaustive series of tests on the service module test article throughout 2016.

  • Orion update for January 2017

    Mackenzie KaneJanuary 18th, 2017

    Before the end of 2016, progress on NASA's Orion capsule for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) took some significant leaps forward. The coming year looks to be no different – with the crew-rated spacecraft being prepared for its first flight atop SLS.

  • Insider Exclusive: BFF’s long history continues with work on EM-1

    Jason RhianDecember 28th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — These days, when most people hear the acronym BFF, they think "Best Friends Forever", but the words "Booster Fabrication Facility" likely do not top that list. When it comes to NASA's 2018 Exploration Mission 1, perhaps it should.

  • Orion service module engine shipped to Europe

    Bart LeahyDecember 17th, 2016

    NASA has shipped the Orion spacecraft’s main engine to Europe to be integrated with the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which serves as the backbone of Orion’s Service Module.