Orion is go! Capsule that will someday take humans to Mars is ready to begin structural testing ahead of 2018 lunar flight


‘The structure shown here is 500lbs lighter than its Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) counterpart,’ said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin Orion vice president and program manager.

‘Once the final structural components such as longerons, bolts and brackets are added, total crew module structural weight savings from EFT-1 to EM-1 will total 700lbs.’

The Orion spacecraft arrived in Florida on Monday on Nasa’s massive Super Guppy aircraft, which has a 156 feet wingspan.

At the Kennedy Space Center, the crew module will undergo several tests to ensure the structure is perfectly sound before being integrated with other elements of the spacecraft.

First it will undergo proof-pressure testing where the structural welds are stress tested to confirm it can withstand the environments it will experience in space.

The team will then use phased array technology to inspect the welds to make sure there are no defects.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3432512/Orion-Capsule-someday-humans-Mars-ready-begin-structural-testing-ahead-2018-lunar-flight.html#ixzz3zKl9SRAX
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