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NASA Orion crew exploration vehicle (updates)

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DocM    16,486

Not just Dragon 2 but Starliner and Blue Origin's crew spacecraft. All have BEO aspirations, which leaves Orion too late, costing too much and too heavy by a factor of 2-3. 

Spacecraft like Dragon 2, Starliner, and Blues need to be lightweight taxis with a high speed reentry capability from L1/L2. This after being part of a modular BEO Transfer Vehicle which transits from there, not an all in one solution themselves.

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Draggendrop    5,747

I could envision Dragon, Starliner and Blues working from a commercial Lagrange point station, with investment from the likes of Planetary resources, Bigelo Aerospace, commercial space venture capitalists, as well as National partnerships such as with the ISS. There certainly appears to be interest in long term ventures, as shown by the last ISS resource conference where the main question appeared to be a firm date for ISS extension (2024), to justify long term investor involvement in lieu of a new research and commercial platform. This would appear to be inevitable, with all player pieces creating a fluid intertransfer network for all manner of BEO functions........Could be great...a major launching point......:)

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Long as it isn't holding up Dragon 2. That bird is almost ready for trials. I agree with @ of the above. MCT/BFR will be cutting metal by the time Orion has asses in the seats, and Crewed Dragons will be flying Missions with Bigelow gear TO even more Bigelow/SpaceX/other NewSpace and OldSpace additions under construction at the ISS (or possibly new stations by then).

*sigh* What a joke.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Quite right, we can't have Dragon 2, or other initiatives, for that fact, being delayed by nonsense. I believe Elon, at one point stated that plans will progress, even without assistance, it would just be a bit slower. I am pretty sure SpaceX is in the position to finish off the Dragon2 in house, with their funding. They already own all development in F9 and FH. The leash will be ripped off soon......

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Draggendrop    5,747

Let's see where else that we can waste money and time.....

Airbus Defence and Space Builds First Hardware for Orion Space Vehicle's Service Module

 

150922-First-Orion-Hardware_092215_945.t
Large titanium tank for Orion.   ©AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE

Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor for NASA's Orion space vehicle's European Service Module (ESM), has completed four large titanium tanks for the module that will be delivered for initial testing.

 

The tanks are the first hardware to be supplied for the Orion space vehicle. Each tank is 2.67 metres high with a diameter of 1.15 metres. The tanks weight approximately 100 kilograms when empty and have a volume of 2,100 litres, giving a total payload capacity of almost nine tonnes of fuel (monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON)). Most of the ESM's total mass of just over 13 tonnes will consist of fuel.

The tanks will be first transported to Italy, where the structural test model will be assembled before being tested in the United States. The primary goal of these initial tests is to verify whether the structural components can withstand the enormous loads, especially during take-off. The next step is to build the engineering model that will be assembled and tested at Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen. This model will be used to test the inner workings of the tanks, which ensure a continuous, bubble-free flow of propellant to the motors in zero gravity. The actual flight tanks for the ESM - which will be used for the first time when the uncrewed Exploration Mission 1 launches in 2018 - will be built by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen by mid-2016.

The ESM will provide propulsion, power and thermal control to the Orion space vehicle, and will also supply crew members with water and oxygen during missions to the Moon, asteroids and later, eventually, to Mars.

 http://spaceref.biz/company/airbus-defence-and-space-builds-first-hardware-for-orion-space-vehicles-service-module.html

This silliness creates this.........

NASA pushes back first crewed Orion flight to 2023

The first flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft with astronauts on board may not take place until the spring of 2023, more than 18 months later than previously planned, agency officials said this week. NASA said the outcome of the review of the Orion pegged the cost of developing Orion, from this October through its first crewed flight, at $6.77 billion, and set a first flight no later than April 23 with a 70-percent confidence level. Agency officials said that while they were still maintaining an internal goal of a first crewed launch in August 2021, anticipated "unknown unknowns" during development would likely cause that first launch to slip. That delay will not affect the first uncrewed Orion launch on the SLS, scheduled for the fall of 2018.

http://www.spacetoday.net/

:s 

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

By then it'll be completely obsolete. Ugh. Red Dragon & Bigelow will be flying Martian Checkout Missions by that date and SpaceX will be likely well into research & development of Dragon 3. It's also likely that MCT/BFR will actually be cutting metal by that time, rendering the entire purpose of SLS/Orion null and a complete waste of time and resources.

*sigh* What a money pit.

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Draggendrop    5,747

That is an enormous amount of money poured into this project. I am beginning to wonder how this can be justified, other than "make work" projects for the "state's" that the old boy's club, lives in. The longer this go's on, the more embarrassing it will be, unless the mission objectives get changed to make it look good...how?...I have no idea.:s

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DocM    16,486

Pork is what it's all about for i0-90% of Congress. What'll likely is that once FH/Dragon 2, BFR and MCT flights to Mars are inevitable Congress will try to make them sound like their idea and try to get in on the game.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Since we are already seeing the "silly zone"....they have just "one uped it"....

SLS manifest options aim for Phobos prior to 2039 Mars landing


As NASA continues to mature a mission and support architecture path toward its much heralded endeavor of landing humans on Mars, the agency’s under-development heavy lift SLS rocket now stands to take on a primary space transportation role via a rapidly increasing flight rate designed to support human missions to Phobos by 2033 and to the surface of Mars by 2039.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/sls-manifest-phobos-mars-2039/

Not much for fiction today....rest of the article at the link.......:wacko: 

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Oh good grief. So now the "Primary Mission" for SLS/Orion slips to 2033~2039 at the earliest, and by the time it even gets there the technology will already be 25 years old (from a design standpoint).

End this debacle already. Scrap it. Kill it with seawater. Sink this mess to the bottom of the ocean and let some good come from it by letting it form natural Coral Reefs and other little hidey places for sea life. At this point that's all it's good for now. Save those uprated SSME's for another project that does not involve simply tossing them aside after each launch. Those are non-replaceable, so how about NASA instead uses those to build better engines that use a similar design but massively uprated in all categories -- since ULA can't seem to pull it off.

The new upright welder/fabrication unit can be put to other uses. No sense in wasting it nor the facility that houses it.

Finally, to whomever was/is building this monstrosity from OldSpace .... YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PART OF THIS FIASCO. You can (and should) absorb the cost of your end of this failure. This level of incompetence, dishonesty and irresponsibility demands that your company should fade from existence. You failed to meet deadline after deadline. You also went over budget several times, kept asking for (and received) funding to continue this now-needless project. [Insert colorful expletives here].

Ahh ... that feels better. :yes:

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Draggendrop    5,747

Aerojet Rocketdyne Subsystems for the Orion Spacecraft Complete Major Review

Press Release From: Aerojet Rocketdyne 
Posted: Friday, October 9, 2015

 

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.

 

// end //

http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=47026

This gave me a chuckle....requote...

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. 


Primary job...get the stuff off the hull....back up job....try to save someone.......:)

 

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DocM    16,486

The Orion launch abort system alone weighs almost as much as a fully gassed up Dragon 2 capsule: 6.2 vs 7 tonnes. A full up Orion masses over 35 tonnes at launch.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

And Orion has 1/4 of the capability. Bleh. Pork-belly projects at their finest.

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Draggendrop    5,747

In the SpaceX updates thread, Doc's last post has a link to the House exploration hearings.....a few comments are blunt, such as lack of fiscal responsibility....hopefully this fiasco will eventually be seen for what it is...in the near future, stop funding stupidity ( a call out to the pork politicians) for another 15+ years. NASA would show more prudence by going with new space ventures and international projects, to get the job done in a cost effective and timely manner.....:)

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Agreed. And by encouraging & otherwise supporting the Private Space ventures more. Virgin Galactic really needs some encouragement nowadays, it's like everyone has forgotten about them. :(

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Draggendrop    5,747

Agreed. And by encouraging & otherwise supporting the Private Space ventures more. Virgin Galactic really needs some encouragement nowadays, it's like everyone has forgotten about them. :(

Quite true...not all ventures can be flashy, but all these ventures have purpose and merit, and should be encouraged....:)

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DocM    16,486

Sounds like the old guard took slightly less than horizontal "promotions."

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/10/14/nasas-heavy-lift-rocket-and-deep-space-capsule-under-new-management/

NASA’s heavy-lift rocket and deep space capsule under new management

NASA has announced two veteran space shuttle engineers have taken charge of space agency’s Space Launch System and Orion deep space exploration projects after their previous managers both took the No. 2 jobs at space centers in Alabama and Texas.

Mark Kirasich, a 32-year veteran of NASA, was appointed manager of the Orion program headquartered at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the agency announced Tuesday. He succeeds Mark Geyer, who left the post in August to become JSC’s deputy director.

Kirasich, who holds engineering degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University, has been deputy Orion program manager since 2006. Before joining the Orion program, he was a space shuttle flight controller, a lead shuttle payload officer in Houston’s mission control, then a flight director supporting multiple shuttle and International Space Station missions.

In his new job, Kirasich will oversee the design and testing activities in the United States and Europe for the Orion crew capsule, which is in development to carry astronauts into deep space. The Orion spacecraft completed its first unpiloted test flight in December 2014, and another uncrewed mission is slated for 2018 aboard the humongous Space Launch System heavy-lift booster.

The first Orion mission with astronauts to lunar orbit is expected no later than 2023.

“Mark brings a wealth of knowledge about NASA’s human spaceflight efforts to the Orion Program manager position,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s human exploration and operations division 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.”

The SLS program office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, also has a new manager.

John Honeycutt, the rocket program’s previous deputy manager, takes over from Todd May, who was appointed deputy director at Marshall.

Honeycutt will lead a nationwide workforce of 4,200 civil servants and contractors and manage a $1.7 billion annual budget, according to a NASA press release announcing his promotion Oct. 7.

“John is an accomplished manager, and I’m pleased he is assuming this new leadership role in the development of SLS as we continue taking great steps forward in the continuous human exploration of space and on our journey to Mars,” Gerstenmaier said in a statement.
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Pretty thankless project they're taking control of. And they were already "Deputy Managers" ... yeah. At least they're up to speed on things. I don't expect anything of substance to change with SLS/Orion (or whatever they're calling it these days). It's just a shuffling of management.

Sorry for the cynicism but I really have zero faith in their abilities to turn this debacle around.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Orion Service Module Stacking Assembly Secured For Flight

orion-spacecraft-service-module-stacking
Orion is the spacecraft that will launch atop NASA's Space Launch System rocket on Exploration Mission-1 in 2018

The Orion spacecraft service module stacking assembly interface ring and stack holding stand are secured on a special transportation platform and are being loaded into NASA's Super Guppy aircraft at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On Nov. 3, the Guppy flew from Kennedy to NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

A full-size test version of the Orion service module, provided by ESA (European Space Agency), for Orion will arrive at Plum Brook Station this month, where it will be evaluated in the Space Power Facility during a multi-month test campaign to ensure it can withstand the trip to space.

The service module is a critical piece of Orion and provides air, water, in-space propulsion and power for the spacecraft.

Testing on the crew module adapter test article for the service module began in July 2015.

Engineers are using a "building block" approach to testing, in which they evaluate each piece as the elements composing the service module are stacked atop each other to validate the module.

Orion is the spacecraft that will launch atop NASA's Space Launch System rocket on Exploration Mission-1 in 2018.

ESA, along with its contractor Airbus, is providing the service module for Orion's next mission, a partnership that will bring international cooperation to the journey to Mars.

 http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Orion_Service_Module_Stacking_Assembly_Secured_For_Flight_999.html

-------------------------------------

Orion's European module ready for testing

test-version-esa-service-module-for-orio
The European Service Module is adapted from Europe's largest spacecraft, the Automated Transfer Vehicle. Image courtesy Airbus.

A test version of ESA's service module for NASA's Orion spacecraft arrived in the US yesterday after leaving its assembly site in Italy last weekend.

The European Service Module is adapted from Europe's largest spacecraft, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, which completed its last mission to the International Space Station in February. Just nine months later, prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany, has delivered the first test module.

The module sits directly below Orion's crew capsule and provides propulsion, power, thermal control, and water and air for four astronauts. The solar array spans 19 m and provides enough to power two households.

A little over 5 m in diameter and 4 m high, it weighs 13.5 tonnes. The 8.6 tonnes of propellant will power one main engine and 32 smaller thrusters.

The structural test article delivered today was built by Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. Following initial tests in Europe, it will now undergo rigorous vibration tests in NASA's Plum Brook Station in Ohio to ensure the structure and components can withstand the extreme stresses during launch.

"This is the first major element of the European Service Module to be delivered to the US," notes Philippe Deloo, ESA's programme manager, "demonstrating the commitment of ESA to this human exploration endeavour."

More than 20 companies around Europe are working on the project, most building on their expertise earned from the five Automated Transfer Vehicles that delivered cargo to the Space Station and reboosted its orbit from 2009 to 2015.

The first, uncrewed, launch of the full Orion vehicle is planned for 2018 with the first European Service Module. It will fly beyond the Moon and back, returning to Earth at higher speeds than any other previous spacecraft.

During the mission, the module will detach shortly before entry into Earth's atmosphere.

 http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Orions_European_module_ready_for_testing_999.html

 

one-hundred-million-dollars.thumb.jpg.e9

:(

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Funny how NASA's Narrator, during the Orion Test Flight, said "here's your new space vehicle, America" as it was parachuting down when it's not fully U.S.-sourced and wasn't from the outset. If it's an International project, please call it what it is. Don't do the whole " 'Merica, f**k yeah" crap expecting to drum up some sort of "grassroots enthusiasm" or "patriotism" -- we're all tired of it. Even us Americans capable of rubbing two brain cells together.

"Superpower America" isn't a thing anymore. We're just another place on the map bordering other places on the map. Sixteen years of very sh***y "leadership" and endless wars have diminished "Superpower America" into just another country; and the sooner that everyone in America accepts that fact, the sooner we can get about fixing our problems and get ourselves back on track.

We Americans are good at Science, we're good at Space, and we're good at building things -- most of the time. But SLS/Orion is a huge money pit, and a waste of time and resources.

Now, if the presentation was different, such as "This is an International Project that we'd like to initiate and take part in, with many other nations; including Russia, the European Union, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, India, Brazil, and other partners around the World", like the International Space Station was, we'd be all over this with unlimited enthusiam. world-wide effort to develop a Common Launcher System, Crew Vehicles, and all of the hardware, infrastructure and support facilities including a dozen different launch sites around the world?! Good grief, there would be no stopping that kind of a cooperative effort.

Sadly, I think something as wonderful as this, where people around the World are able to come together and work on one glorious, global project on a magnitude never seen before won't happen in our lifetimes. And it's a missed opportunity for people to come together for a common goal.

That's what SLS/Orion represents to me, personally. A missed opportunity to do great things.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Hopefully by 2030, it will be NewSpace and commercial ventures along with national partnerships, that will control what gets done in space.:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

Orion ingenuity improves manufacturing while reducing mass

orion-welding-pieces-orion-spacecraft-pr
Technicians with Lockheed Martin, NASA's prime contractor for Orion, are welding together the pieces of the spacecraft's pressure vessel at Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans. Image courtesy NASA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

How do you reduce the weight of a spacecraft's underlying structure, while using the same materials as the heavier version and still hold to the same manufacturing schedule?

This month, the engineers who helped answer that question are seeing their hard work pay off. Technicians have finished welding together three cone panels that make up a section of the Orion crew module that will fly beyond the moon on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).

Orion's pressure vessel is composed of seven large pieces of aluminum, three of which are the cone panels. The pressure vessel holds the atmosphere astronauts will breathe against the vacuum of deep space, forming the crew compartment. The three panels together form the angled mid-section around the crew module where the windows and hatch are located.

While technicians have been joining other elements of the structure together since early September, the cone panels have presented a unique challenge for NASA and Lockheed Martin, the agency's prime contractor for Orion. Engineers who have sought to reduce the crew module's overall weight have encountered and overcome technical challenges.

"When you look at the Orion crew module for EM-1 from the outside, it will look like the spacecraft we flew on Exploration Flight Test-1," said Charlie Lundquist, Orion crew and service module manager. "But the spacecraft we're building for our next mission incorporates a lot of engineering ingenuity and improved manufacturing processes. These improved processes have also contributed to a reduction in weight of the overall spacecraft."

When the test version of Orion's underlying structure was first constructed, it was heavy. The original conical section was made of six panels and six longerons (thin strips of metal) that required 12 welds to bind them together. Manufacturing the panels took considerable time. The welds also added considerable weight to ensure the seams were strong enough.

As engineers refined Orion's design, building on lessons learned from constructing the initial test article and capsule for EFT-1, followed by diligent analysis and iterative design evaluations, engineers found ways to reduce the number of cone panels and welds, resulting in a needed weight reduction for EM-1.

But reducing the structure's number of cone panels has required considerable resourcefulness and skill on the part of Orion's engineering team.

When technicians began manufacturing the three new cone panels for EM-1, each comprising one-third of the circumference of the crew compartment and each made from a single piece of metal, they encountered an issue during the machining process. The large, curved panels had a tendency to flatten out or relax more than expected.

"When you form something from a six-inch thick metal plate, what holds it in shape is the metal itself," said Jim Bray, Orion crew module director for Lockheed Martin.

"When you need it to bend even more, but start to remove metal from it, and make it thinner, it starts to lose its shape."

The Orion team knew the relaxation of the panels posed a threat to the manufacturing process and to Orion's schedule, so they developed a new plan to keep the process on track.

Engineers first standardized the technical steps to make the pieces to exact specifications and divided manufacturing of the three panels among three different expert machining companies. The revised plan enabled unprecedented collaboration across the industry while working on all three panels in parallel, ultimately saving time.

"The modifications didn't end with the machining techniques," said Bray. "We also had to make sure the actual welding process would perform as expected on these new pieces."

Engineers had to redefine the specific conditions under which welding operations must occur. These included the temperature and humidity in the room, the rotational speed of the weld head and how quickly it moves to join two pieces of metal.

This revised cone panel process isn't the only weight-saving measure being incorporated into future Orion Crew Modules. Besides the reduced number of pieces and welds making up the pressure vessel, Orion's thermal protection system, which protects the spacecraft during its extremely hot and fast reentry through Earth's atmosphere, will be approximately 1,200 pounds lighter during EM-1 than it was during its maiden voyage to space.

When completed, the crew module will be approximately 20 percent (4,000 pounds) lighter than it was during EFT-1.

Technicians will perform two final welds to integrate the other elements of the primary structure. After completion, it will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be outfitted and processed in preparation for its launch atop the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Boosted by the power of the SLS rocket, Orion will travel farther into deep space than a spacecraft built to carry humans has ever been.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Orion_ingenuity_improves_manufacturing_while_reducing_mass_999.html

"weight watchers" for capsules.....we may have a ways to go yet..... 

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

SIX INCHES THICK?! Talk about overkill. With a Fire Axe. On fire. Wielded by a Scotsman who was told you'd besmirched the character of his mother and four sisters.

No wonder the damn thing is so heavy. And they're trimming 20% of the weight just with "improved Engineering and Construction practices" ... in other words, and I'll quote here:

"The HELL?! No, no, NO. We can do *this* better. And *this*. And *THIS* isn't needed at all".

At least the Engineers and Laborers building it have some damned sense. :yes:

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Draggendrop    5,747

NASA UNVEILS NEW METALLIC LOOK FOR ITS ORION CREW VEHICLE


Image-courtesy-NASA.thumb.jpg.118cca77ff
NASA

In preparation for Orion’s EM-1 mission, NASA engineers are active making the Orion space probe challenging sufficient to withstand faster speeds and higher temperature.

 

 

On its return flight, Orion will experience 36,000 feet per second from lunar velocity. However, during EM-1, the Orion will travel at over 1100 metres per second and heat conditions will be severe. While the speed difference may seem subtle, the heating the vehicle sees increases exponentially as the speed increases. The silvery material, which is similar to what’s used in the main heat shield, will be bonded to the back shell tiles. The metallic-based coating will protect Orion from “the harshest set of conditions yet” during its next mission. Scientists said that when the spacecraft re-enters Earth from space, its temperature is expected exceed 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but when the capsule remains in deep-space its temperature will fall. The new thermal control coating allows both for extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures.

According to NASA, this new heat shield will keep the temperatures of Orion ranging from -100 degrees Celsius to 290 degrees Celsius. For the next Orion mission, NASA will be applying a coat of metallic paint, which will help the spacecraft stay at a more constant temperature.

Instead of a monolithic outer layer, the heat shield will be made of about 180 blocks that can be made simultaneously with the other heat shield components to streamline the labour-and-time-intensive manufacturing process.

 

NASA’s engineers have also managed to tinker around with the heat shield’s weight reducing it significantly, particularly with its underlying structure, composed of a titanium skeleton and carbon fibre skin.

Orion flew its first test mission in December 2014.

The last Apollo mission saw a two man crew spend just three days on the moon’s surface while a mission to an asteroid or to Mars could see astronauts spending up to 450 days in space.

Today’s airdrop test was the penultimate evaluation as part of an engineering series before tests begin next year to qualify the parachute system for crewed flights.

Artist’s depiction of NASA’s Orion spacecraft mated to a European-built service module. During re-entry, it will help keep the 1650C heat on the outside.

Orion also uses up-to-date computers, electronics, life support and propulsion systems. The electronics also have a far more sophisticated radiation shielding than the Apollo modules.

http://www.dispatchtimes.com/nasa-unveils-new-metallic-look-for-its-orion-crew-vehicle/159859/

similar article....
http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/20/9769296/nasa-orion-spacecraft-crew-capsule-design-metallic-thermal-protection

:) 

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DocM    16,486

Lipstick on a pig.

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