Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a GIZMO demonstration test is being performed on the ground test article Launch Abort System, or LAS, ogive panel and an Orion crew module simulator. An access platform has been added leading up to the mockup of the crew module. The inner hatch has been removed. The GIZMO is a pneumatically-balanced manipulator that will be used for installation of the hatches on the crew module and LAS for the uncrewed Exploration Flight Test-1 and Exploration Mission-1. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is running the test to demonstrate that the GIZMO can meet the reach and handling requirements for the task.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch later this year atop a Delta IV rocket and in 2017 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper