NASA Prepares To Test Orion Service Module

Image Credit: NASA/Bridget R. Caswell (Alcyon Technical Services JV, LLC)

Image Credit: NASA/Bridget R. Caswell (Alcyon Technical Services JV, LLC)

October 6, 2015 – Lockheed Martin technicians lifted the Orion Crew Module Adapter Structural Test Article at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station. The adapter will connect Orion’s crew module to a service module provided by ESA (European Space Agency).

NASA is preparing for a series of tests that will check out the Orion European Service Module, a critical part of the spacecraft that will be launched on future missions to an asteroid and on toward Mars.

Test engineers will use a large vibration table and acoustic chamber at Plum Brook’s Space Power Facility to mimic the shaking and noise the service module will experience during it’s powerful ascent into space. The testing allows engineers to make sure flight hardware is properly built and will perform to NASA’s crew safety and flight requirements. Engineers are using a “building block” approach to testing in which they evaluate each piece as the elements composing the service module are stacked atop each other to validate the module.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Littleton, Colorado is the prime contractor for the Orion spacecraft.