Friday, September 11, 2015
NASA is one step closer to sending astronauts to Mars. Engineers at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans welded together the first two segments of the Orion crew module that will fly atop NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on a mission beyond the far side of the moon.
The primary structure of Orion’s crew module is made of seven large aluminum pieces that must be precisely welded together. The first weld connects the tunnel to the forward bulkhead, which is at the top of the spacecraft and houses many of Orion’s critical systems, such as the parachutes that deploy during reentry. Orion’s tunnel, with a docking hatch, will allow crews to move between the crew module and other spacecraft.
During the coming months as other pieces of Orion’s primary structure arrive at Michoud from machine houses across the country, engineers will inspect and evaluate them to ensure they meet precise design requirements before welding. Once complete, the structure will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida where it will be assembled with the other elements of the spacecraft.
Read the complete article HERE