Orion Flight Test Prelaunch Status and Overview Briefing | Summary and Q&A

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December 2, 2014
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NASA
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Orion Flight Test Prelaunch Status and Overview Briefing

TL;DR

Orion flight test is scheduled in two days, featuring the NASA program manager, Lockheed Martin Orion program manager, and United Launch Alliance director speaking about the mission.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How are the computers on Orion programmed for the flight?

The computers on Orion are programmed for the full flight sequence, but there are contingency commands that can be sent real-time to reconfigure systems if needed.

Q: What type of data will be collected during the flight?

The flight will collect telemetry data to monitor system behavior and performance. Additionally, there are over 12,000 sensors onboard measuring various parameters like temperature, vibration, and acoustics.

Q: How quickly will the capsule be returned to Kennedy Space Center after the mission?

The recovery team will transport the capsule back to Kennedy Space Center before Christmas, where data will be offloaded and analyzed.

Q: Will there be any changes or modifications to the heat shield based on the data collected from the test flight?

The heat shield will be evaluated based on performance and material properties. There are considerations for using a different design, such as building blocks, to improve manufacturability.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The flight test will launch Orion on a Delta 4 heavy rocket to test the heat shield, separation events, avionics, and parachutes.

  • The crew module is the core of Orion, and the test will examine key systems before human flights.

  • The mission is a flight test to gather data on vehicle behavior and system interactions to ensure safety before crewed missions.

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