NASA Successfully Completes Orion Spacecraft Performance Testing Ahead of Schedule

Next stop is the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Loukia Papadopoulos

NASA has successfully completed performance testing for its Orion spacecraft. "The Orion spacecraft, consisting of the crew module and European-built service module, has undergone more than three months of testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, where it was subjected to the extreme temperatures and electromagnetic environment it will experience in the vacuum of space during Artemis missions," read a NASA press release.


One step closer

This brings the craft one step closer to the Artemis 1 moon mission, "an uncrewed test flight around the Moon that will land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024."

The Orion spacecraft came to Northeast Ohio in November 2019. It was scheduled to undergo four months of testing, but it completed its testing ahead of time.

“I think we were all surprised at how well everything did. When we were doing the thermal vacuum testing we really planned for it to be more like 62 days but the vehicle performed so well and the facility performed so well that we didn't need the extra time. It was in there for 47 days,” Nicole Smith, project manager for the testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station, told abc news.

Next steps

Next, the Orion spacecraft will be transported by NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft back to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for some final testing and processing. This will take place late-March. The Orion will then be heading to the moon about a year from now.

“These are exciting times for NASA as Artemis will usher in the new era of space exploration and light our way to Mars,” said Marla Perez-Davis, NASA Glenn Research Center director.

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