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Artemis 1 Orion returns to KSC after Plum Brook testing

25 Mar 2020, 19:53 UTC
Artemis 1 Orion returns to KSC after Plum Brook testing
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Riding aboard NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft, the Orion spacecraft that will fly the Artemis 1 lunar orbit mission returned home to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on March 25 after four months of development testing in Ohio. The mated Crew Service Module (CSM) combo spent weeks in the thermal vacuum chamber of the Space Environments Complex at Plum Brook Station, as the civilian space agency and Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin ran it through a series of tests.

The Glenn Research Center team monitored consoles around the clock while Orion spent almost six weeks in vacuum conditions in the chamber. The performance of the spacecraft’s systems was recorded at different thermal balance points simulating phases of flight and temperature extremes. Both the inside and the outside of the vehicle were tested at or near-vacuum conditions; technicians depressurized the crew cabin early in the test and then repressurized it while the chamber pressure remained essentially at zero.
The spacecraft came out of the tests in good shape and the data collected will help calibrate the different models that predict how it will behave in a wider set of in-space conditions. The current worldwide crisis with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ...

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