NASA Prepares Orion For Unmanned Flight Tests

Orion capsule mock-upDespite the government shutdown, NASA was able to continue working on the Orion, NASA’s next manned spacecraft. Before any humans step aboard the ship sometimes referred to as “Apollo on steroids,” the space agency will continue working on the ship in preparation for its debut test flight in September of next year.

Next fall, a Delta IV heavy rocket will launch the Lockheed Martin-designed Orion capsule from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Exploration Flight Test is designed to assess a number of critical functions, including the capsule’s heat shield, which will be tested as it plunges into Earth’s fiery atmosphere at speeds of 20,000 mph. Orion’s heat shield, like Apollo’s features “Avcoat,” which essentially removes the heat of reentry and stores it in a honeycomb matrix. This latest model will be the largest in the world, roughly 17 feet across. The flight will also test other structural components of the craft, as well as avionics and software. Ideally the results will allow developers to assess risks and ways to mitigate them.

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Orion Set Pics Suggest Somebody Stole David Arquette’s Pants

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t often think about David Arquette. Sure, he was Deputy Dewey in the Scream movies, and that was fun. I remember something about him marrying one of the Friends. Maybe David Schwimmer? At any rate, one way I absolutely never thought of David Arquette? Dressed like this.

For the love of God, man, at least wear a hat.