October 24, 2016 – Engineers have completed testing of the Orion Service Module Umbilical (OSMU) at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The OSMU will connect from the mobile launcher tower to the Orion service module at about the 280-foot level of the tower. Prior to launch, the umbilical will transfer liquid coolant for the electronics and air for the environmental control system to the Orion service module that houses these critical systems to support the spacecraft. The OSMU also will provide purge air and gaseous nitrogen for environmental control to the Launch Abort System located atop the spacecraft. The OSMU will release and tilt back, away from the service module, before launch.
A series of tests, called regressions tests, were performed on the umbilical’s design modifications to validate it for installation on the mobile launcher. During the tests, the OSMU was connected to the facility’s Vehicle Motion Simulator 1. The umbilical’s release mechanism that will connect to the service module was tested to confirm it is functioning properly.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado is the prime contractor for the Orion spacecraft. Orion’s service module is a critical piece of the overall spacecraft and is provided by ESA (European Space Agency) and built by Airbus Defence & Space.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will launch with the Orion spacecraft atop for its first flight, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) in 2018.