NASA’s Orion Spacecraft which has been designed to carry astronauts to deep space destinations like Moon and Mars has successfully carried out a series of tests to test its critical safety systems.
NASA test fired Orion’s launch abort system by firing the 17-foot tall motor for five seconds. The test was successful as the motor produced enough thrust and thus qualifying for future missions with astronauts.
The launch abort system which is positioned on top of the Orion crew module is a vital component of Orion’s spacecraft making sure crew members remain safe on the launch pad. It plays a critical role in making sure the crews travelling to deep space destinations remain safe inside the Orion spacecraft.
The launch abort model is responsible for propelling the crew module away from the Space Launch System rocket in case of an emergency, The launch motor will send the crew module to a safe distance away from a failing rocket and will orient the module for a safe descent into the Atlantic Ocean in case such an eventuality ever occurs.
During the test, the researchers also evaluated the performance of the parachutes which will ensure that the crew module safely descends to earth.
The Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle was announced to be built by NASA on May 24, 2011. The new spacecraft is currently under development. NASA has named the Orion spacecraft after the largest constellation in the night sky. NASA is building the Orion spacecraft by making use of its 50 years experience in spaceflight research and development.
The Orion spacecraft will be designed to cater to NASA’s deep space exploration programs. According to NASA, it will be the safest and most advanced spacecraft ever built and will offer emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and will offer safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.