Author Topic: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates  (Read 34010 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

A thread for the processing of EM-1 Orion ahead of the 2018 mission.

Orion Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=38.0

Orion News Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/orion/

L2 Orion:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=29.0

All three of those links go back 2006, back in the CEV days. Been a long road of this little spacecraft!

Please use the Orion forum section for discussion etc. Let's try and keep this thread just for updates on the construction and processing.


Offline clongton

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #2 on: 09/09/2015 05:24 PM »
Great to see Orion coming together. Thanks for the report. I'd be interested in the high rate of MMOD damage, to compare it with what Apollo suffered on its round trip to the moon.

I like the way the spacecraft is being put together in large sections. My question is whether or not each of those major sections is a solid piece of aluminum that has been machined out or were they themselves constructed of component pieces?
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Online DaveS

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #3 on: 09/15/2015 10:11 PM »
Late called teleconference announced by NASA concerning Orion progress:

Sep. 15, 2015
M15-138
NASA to Hold Teleconference to Discuss Orion Spacecraft Progress
NASA officials will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 16 to discuss the agency’s progress on the Orion spacecraft, which will carry humans on missions into deep space.

Participants in the teleconference will be Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator, and William Gerstenmaier, the agency’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

To participate, reporters must contact Kathryn Hambleton or Stephanie Schierholz at 202-358-1100, kathryn.hambleton@nasa.gov or stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov, and provide their media affiliation no later than 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #5 on: 09/16/2015 05:09 PM »
September 16, 2015
RELEASE 15-185
NASA Completes Key Milestone for Orion Spacecraft in Support of Journey to Mars

NASA’s mission to send astronauts to deep space destinations where no other human has traveled has taken another important step forward with the completion of a critical milestone for the Orion spacecraft currently in production. 

Agency officials have completed a rigorous technical and programmatic review, confirming continued support of the program and establishing NASA’s commitment to the program’s technical, cost, and schedule baseline. This is the first time NASA has reached this level of progress for a spacecraft designed to take humans into deep space beyond the moon, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and on the journey to Mars.

“Our work to send humans out into the solar system is progressing,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Orion is a key piece of the flexible architecture that will enable humanity to set foot on the Red Planet, and we are committed to building the spacecraft and other elements necessary to make this a reality.”

A successful test of an uncrewed Orion capsule, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), flew in December 2014, providing important data that allowed engineers to identify risks associated with deep space flight and re-entry and use that knowledge to improve the design of Orion for its next test flights, Exploration Missions 1 and 2 (EM-1 and EM-2).

Performance data has helped to improve manufacturing processes, as well. Engineers have already incorporated many of these improvements into elements of the EM-1 design, including the crew compartment or pressure vessel, which now is in fabrication and assembly at companies across the country. The vessel is comprised of seven panels or sections, and the first two of these were welded together last week. When complete, this capsule will launch on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on the first fully integrated flight test, EM-1.

Astronauts will fly on Orion for the first time on EM-2. That mission will build on the results of the EM-1 flight with additional requirements that the Orion capsule includes fully integrated environmental control and life support systems; controls; and communications designed specifically for the human operation; and advanced launch and re-entry spacesuits for the crew. The recent review, culminating in what is known within NASA as Key Decision Point C (KDP-C), includes all of these technological advancements, and approval represents agency support for this work and the Orion program plan.

The decision commits NASA to a development cost baseline of $6.77 billion from October 2015 through the first crewed mission (EM-2) and a commitment to be ready for a launch with astronauts no later than April 2023. The commitment is consistent with funding levels in the president’s budget request. Conservative cost and schedule commitments outlined in the KDP-C align the Orion Program with program management best practices that account for potential technical risks and budgetary uncertainty beyond the program's control.

“As we take these steps to develop the capabilities we need to send astronauts deep into space, we’re also aligning how we manage our human exploration systems development programs to ensure we are prepared for unforeseen future hurdles,” said Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator. “We’re committing to this funding and readiness level to stay on the journey we’ve outlined to get to Mars.”

Orion engineers now are executing a rigorous review of the spacecraft’s engineering design and technical progress of the vehicle systems and subsystems. This critical design review (CDR) will demonstrate Orion is ready to proceed to full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and testing. NASA’s SLS Program recently completed this milestone, and its Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program will begin its review this fall.

“The Orion Program has done incredible work, progressing every day and meeting milestones to prepare for our next missions,” said William Gerstenmaier, the agency’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters. “The team will keep working toward an earlier readiness date for a first crewed flight, but will be ready no later than April 2023, and we will keep the spacecraft, rocket and ground systems moving at their own best possible paces.”

In the coming months, Orion will complete its CDR; see the arrival of a test version for the European Space Agency-provided service module at NASA’s Plum Brook Station near Sandusky, Ohio; perform a series of parachute tests; and complete the welding of the crew pressure vessel. Although Orion’s readiness date for EM-1 was not formally part of the KDP-C milestone commitment, engineers continue to work toward a commitment for SLS and GSDO to be ready for the uncrewed mission in fall 2018, and NASA will set an integrated launch date after GSDO’s critical design review is completed.

For more information about Orion, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #6 on: 09/16/2015 05:13 PM »
Real aim for the first crewed flight remains August 2021.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #7 on: 09/16/2015 05:18 PM »
Items such as structural test articles and software development are the potential threats to the schedule. Now noting the Service Module is an item, but they said the EM-1 SM is coming in soon and that lays the path for EM-2. EM-1 is still on track.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #8 on: 09/16/2015 05:19 PM »
Machined panels on Orion have been a problem. They "unbend" themselves over time and they have to redo that process.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #9 on: 09/16/2015 05:31 PM »
Gerst dances around the question about how far Orion will travel on Mars missions (because Orion's unlikely to be able to go to Mars).

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #10 on: 09/16/2015 05:47 PM »
Mr. Lightfoot mentions an ISS resupply mission as an option for one Orion mission. That would be a crazy use of SLS/Orion. Please no! That's just silly use of SLS and Orion.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #11 on: 09/16/2015 10:34 PM »
Article for KDP-C:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/orion-passes-kdp-c-cautious-2023-crew-debut/

Decided to cover some of the history way back to CEV (some from an old article as it covered the Ares I woes) and then into the KDP-C.

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #12 on: 09/18/2015 04:00 PM »
We are now starting to see the pressure being exuded by these programs.  Thank you for writing that article Chris.  There are so many more questions but I think the article speaks for itself.

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Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #13 on: 09/18/2015 09:08 PM »
Mr. Lightfoot mentions an ISS resupply mission as an option for one Orion mission. That would be a crazy use of SLS/Orion. Please no! That's just silly use of SLS and Orion.
Did he say Orion & SLS or just Orion? Sending Orion up unmanned on a cheaper rocket and then putting it through its paces on orbit and letting it loiter in the extreme environment for 2 or 3 years before going home and see how it fares doesn't seem like a terrible idea.
« Last Edit: 09/18/2015 09:09 PM by rayleighscatter »

Offline Scylla

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #14 on: 10/11/2015 05:00 PM »
Aerojet Rocketdyne Subsystems for the Orion Spacecraft Complete Major Review
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-subsystems-orion-spacecraft-complete-major-review

The Jettison Motor and Crew Module Reaction Control System for NASA's Orion Spacecraft Are on Track for a 2018 Launch After Completing Critical Design Reviews

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) announces the critical design review (CDR) completion for the jettison motor and the crew module reaction control system (RCS) on the Orion spacecraft. These two major subsystems that Aerojet Rocketdyne is building for Lockheed Martin and NASA are critical for ensuring astronaut safety and mission success.

With the successful CDR completion on the programs, Aerojet Rocketdyne is now able to begin manufacturing hardware for installation into Orion for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), which is slated for launch readiness in 2018 and will be the first flight to the proving ground of deep space.

"Astronaut safety is paramount and the jettison motor and the crew module reaction control system will ensure that the crew begins their mission into deep space and lands at the completion without harm," said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne's Advanced Space & Launch Programs business unit.

The jettison motor is a solid rocket motor that separates the launch abort system from the Orion spacecraft about five seconds after fairing separation, allowing the crew to continue safely on their way into deep space. In addition to its normal operations, the jettison motor serves a double duty if an anomaly occurs. Designed to assist crew escape, the jettison motor is one of three solid rocket motors on the launch abort system that will rapidly pull the capsule away from the stack in the event of an emergency.

The RCS on the crew module the company is providing for Orion is equally important to crew safety. The crew module RCS provides the only course control authority after separation from the service module. It ensures that the heat shield is properly oriented, the crew module is stable under the parachutes and that the vehicle is in the correct orientation for splashdown. The RCS started a redesign in October 2013 based on modeling and simulation demonstrations theorizing different operational environments for the system, which the Exploration Flight Test-1's (EFT-1) mission in December 2014 confirmed.

"Our crew module reaction control engines are critical to the entire Orion landing sequence," said Samuel Wiley, Aerojet Rocketdyne program director for Human Space. "The successful EFT-1 flight demonstrated the RCS technology and now we are expanding the engine capabilities to support future flights into deep space."

The crew module RCS that Aerojet Rocketdyne is now manufacturing for delivery to Lockheed Martin next year is significantly enhanced from the system flown on EFT-1. Design changes include: increasing the structural capability of the engines and support structure; increased engine nozzle temperature capability to withstand more severe aero-thermal environments during re-entry of the crew module into Earth's atmosphere; and reducing overall mass of the system. The successful CDR also verified the new design and confirmed the use of cutting-edge additive manufacturing technology in the fabrication of engine components.

"Successful critical design reviews for the jettison motor and the crew module reaction control system represent the culmination of several years of disciplined engineering and development work that required perseverance and dedication to meet the level of rigor necessary for human space flight programs," added Van Kleeck. "Sending humans beyond deep space is becoming increasingly closer as progress on Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) continues for the 2018 launch."

EM-1 will be the first time the SLS is integrated with the Orion spacecraft. The mission will send Orion into lunar distant retrograde orbit - a wide orbit around the moon that is farther from Earth than any spacecraft built for humans has ever traveled.

In support of the EM-1 mission, the company recently completed the first verification test series of the RS-25 engine, the former space shuttle main engine, for flight aboard the SLS. The test series is verifying the engine's higher performance, new operating environments and certifying a new controller on the engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne, the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine, will continue testing of flight engines and controllers at NASA's Stennis Space Center through next year in preparation of the first flight of SLS.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #15 on: 10/14/2015 05:47 AM »
October 13, 2015
RELEASE 15-207

NASA Appoints Mark Kirasich to Serve as Orion Program Manager
 
NASA has appointed Mark Kirasich to be manager of the agency’s Orion Program. The Orion spacecraft is being developed to send astronauts to deep space destinations, such as an asteroid and ultimately to Mars, launching on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket.

Kirasich has been deputy Orion Program manager since 2006. He now will be responsible for oversight of design, development and testing of the Orion spacecraft, as well as spacecraft manufacturing already under way at locations across the country and in Europe for the ESA (European Space Agency).

“Mark brings a wealth of knowledge about NASA’s human spaceflight efforts to the Orion Program manager position,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. “By overseeing the team and the work needed to send Orion to deep space, and working directly with our international partner ESA to provide the spacecraft’s service module, his leadership will be essential to enabling humans to pioneer farther into the solar system and continue our journey to Mars.”

Kirasich began his NASA career in 1983 at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as a member of the space shuttle flight operations team, quickly advancing to the position of lead space shuttle payload officer in mission control. In 1996, he was selected as a flight director in charge of planning and executing NASA human spaceflight missions, serving in that capacity for multiple space shuttle missions and International Space Station expeditions.

“I have seen first-hand Mark’s impact on the Orion Program, and previously in key operations leadership roles at Johnson, and I look forward to having him help us extend the success of Orion’s 2014 flight test forward,” said Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa.

Kirasich succeeds Mark Geyer, who became Johnson’s deputy director in August.

A native of Chicago, Kirasich received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He is the recipient of numerous awards including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and Space Flight Awareness Award, and a Johnson Space Center Director’s Commendation.

Across the country, elements of the Orion spacecraft are coming together for the first integrated mission with the Space Launch System. At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, welding began in September on the next Orion destined for space. Next month, NASA will see the arrival of a test version of Orion’s service module, provided by ESA, for testing and analysis at the agency’s Plum Brook Station, near Sandusky, Ohio.

For more information about Orion, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #16 on: 10/16/2015 10:50 PM »
Second Weld for Orion’s Primary Structure
Posted on October 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm by Mark Garcia

Engineers at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans continue to weld together the primary structure of the Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission-1. Technicians recently joined the spacecraft’s barrel section, which is the round middle part of the spacecraft, to the aft bulkhead, which is the bottom portion of the crew module. Orion’s primary structure is composed of seven large pieces that are put together in detailed order. Orion’s three cone panels next will be welded together. Once completed, the structure will be shipped from Michoud to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Orion’s systems and subsystems will be integrated and processed before launch atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.

Photo: NASA / Radislav Sinyak

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orion/2015/10/16/second-weld-for-orions-primary-structure/

Offline sdsds

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #17 on: 10/17/2015 04:54 AM »
That's a great photo of the weld in progress! I don't think we get to see much of the actual flight hardware, but a bit of it is visible down inside the weld tool fixture (see attached). Am I correct in thinking the weld is being performed upside down, i.e with the aft bulkhead above the barrel section? And then, is that bit that looks different along the seam (closer to the camera than the weld apparatus) a section of the seam which has already been welded?
« Last Edit: 10/17/2015 04:55 AM by sdsds »
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #18 on: 10/17/2015 06:05 AM »
That's a great photo of the weld in progress! I don't think we get to see much of the actual flight hardware, but a bit of it is visible down inside the weld tool fixture (see attached). Am I correct in thinking the weld is being performed upside down, i.e with the aft bulkhead above the barrel section? And then, is that bit that looks different along the seam (closer to the camera than the weld apparatus) a section of the seam which has already been welded?

It does look like they flipped it upside down to have top access to the weld.  And yes, it looks like that short weld is a tack weld.  They'll likely do that all the way around the perimeter to make sure everything lines up properly before starting the final continuous weld.
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: EM-1 Orion Construction and Processing Updates
« Reply #19 on: 10/17/2015 02:55 PM »

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