Orion Spacecraft Finishes Cross Country Road Trip

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT]-built Orion spacecraft has just completed its 2,700 mile journey from Naval Base San Diego back to Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The NASA Ground Systems Development and Operations team transported the spacecraft across the country by truck, and the entire trip took eight days.

“Despite travelling a bit slower than what we’re used to, Orion made pretty good time,” said Michael Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and Orion program manager. “Most of the team hasn’t had eyes on the spacecraft since November, when we rolled to the launch pad, so we’re excited to take a look.”

Once back to KSC, Orion’s trailer and transport fixture were brought to the Mission Operations Support Building where the accumulation of dirt and grime from the road was removed. The spacecraft will then be brought into the Launch Abort System Facility, where the team will remove the back shell panels and start post-flight assessments in early January. Engineers will perform a visual inspection of hardware such as cabling, fluid lines, propulsion systems and avionics boxes to determine how these components sustained Exploration Flight Test-1.

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Once the initial inspections are completed, the spacecraft will be transported to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility for offloading of hydrazine and ammonia. In March, Lockheed Martin will provide a complete data analysis report to NASA, which will include information about the vehicle’s performance and recommendations based on the results.

Source: Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT)
Date: Dec 19, 2014