July 02, 2019
NASA's Orion spacecraft, which will carry the first woman and the next man to the moon in 2024, was successfully tested Tuesday.
Weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center in Florida were perfect for the launch to conduct the flight test, called Ascent Abort-2. The "stack" -- the parts comprising the rocket, abort system and capsule -- that launched is about 93 feet tall.
A test version of the Orion crew capsule launched at the beginning of a four-hour window that opened at 7 a.m. ET Tuesday. No crew was aboard.
"It was a very smooth liftoff," said Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager. "By all first accounts, it was magnificent." The abort system performed as expected. The next time the abort system is used, astronauts will be on board.
The test needed to be performed as early as possible for the Orion team to gather data and inform missions going forward.
"This test is extremely important," Kirasich said. "Our Launch Abort System is a key safety feature of the spacecraft — it will protect the crew members who fly onboard Orion during the most challenging part of the mission, which is the ascent phase."
The test is meant to ensure that when the craft carrying humans ascends to space after launch, the abort system can pull the crew module away if there's an emergency. On Tuesday, NASA will test a full abort as well as collect data from 900 sensors on the spacecraft.
The Space Launch System rocket that will carry Orion to space will be the most powerful engine ever used, which means a more powerful launch abort system is required to keep the crew safe in the event of a problem.
To provide an idea of the power involved, here's a snapshot of the test launch on Tuesday: 500,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff that provided the craft with a speed of 800 mph. This allowed the craft to reach 31,000 feet in 55 seconds. Then, the abort was initiated, causing the abort motor and attitude control motor, which provides steering, to ignite. A peak of 45,000 feet was reached.
A little over 20 seconds later, the jettison motor pulled the capsule away from the rocket. The capsule fell into the ocean at 300 mph, likely coming apart because there weren't be any parachutes to slow it down. It's weighted down to sink. When Orion launches in 2024, parachutes will be used to slow descent and keep the capsule intact.
The motors on top of the module pull the capsule away from the rocket, rather than motors positioned at the base to push it away. The abort system is designed to automatically fire within milliseconds if an error rises so the capsule can literally outrun the rocket.
"In an abort scenario, the Launch Abort System and crew module essentially become its own aircraft," said Chuck Dingell, chief engineer for Orion. "Not only do we want to get that craft away from a dangerous scenario quickly, but we also want to control it so that it flies in a direction as far as possible from the rocket. It's also easier to control a vehicle with a forward center of gravity and that is heavier on the front end."
For the final design, the crew will also have an abort button they can use.
Twelve data recorders ejected in pairs and fell into the ocean. While all of the data from the recorders will be downlinked during the flight, the team needs to be able to recover at least one data recorder to provide a full backup if data is lost.
Recorders will likely wash up on the beach because they can float. They're bright orange and are labeled with a phone number and email address in case people find them on the beach. They also feature a beacon and transmitter for recovery.
"We are incredibly excited," said Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 crew module manager and test conductor. "It's such an honor to be a part of this activity and to have this opportunity."
In 2024, Artemis 2 will carry astronauts to the Gateway, a spaceship that will go into orbit around the moon and be used as a lunar outpost. From there the astronauts can use another vehicle to descend to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji Dish on Season 5 of ‘Insecure’
October 22, 2021
KA7ZEjY3rvk
Kristen Stewart Opens Up on 'Eternals' LGBTQ Inclusion, Ruby Rose Battles with WarnerBros | The Take
October 21, 2021
7d3MFpaP2L8
AT&T Stock Falls Following Q3 Earnings Results
October 21, 2021
LZNkmpoVefA
Marriage Addiction, Big Ed Returns & Mailman Affair
October 26, 2021
-ToLxI1zOmw
Meg's Delivery, Ciara's Dinner & "DWTS" Horror Night
October 26, 2021
0W5ayUWdjho
Drew Barrymore & Ex Tom Green Reunite for 1st Time in 20 Years | E! News
October 26, 2021
U7lM-EPB9UA
Adam Levine addresses fan grabbing him during Maroon 5 performance | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2021
81owF0TCJtI
Angelina Jolie says her kids can borrow ‘anything’ in her closet: ‘Take it’ | Page Six
October 27, 2021
xpjGjm8bnpo
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband Kevin Hunter is engaged to Sharina Hudson | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2021
sqaYVw39mEU
The TMZ Celebrity Tour Meets the Fake De Niro | TMZ TV
October 26, 2021
KAgksJS0VfU
Tarek El Moussa And Heather Rae Young Get Married in Montecito | TMZ TV
October 26, 2021
WOVxOhxb8Gs
Alec Baldwin 'Rust' Actor Says Camera Was Protected During Shooting, Not Actors | TMZ
October 25, 2021
bASh7PtfiPU
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.