Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) Ground Test Motor Arrival

NASA/Leif Heimbold2018-07-20


Washington, DC, United States

In the transfer aisle inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a crane is used to lift up the shipping container with the ground test motor for Orion's Launch Abort System (LAS) inside on July 20, 2018. The container will be lowered onto another transporter and moved to the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility where it will be inspected and prepared for transport to Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for mechanical fit testing. This inert motor will not be used for flight, but will be used to certify flight hardware assembly in preparation for a full-stress test of the LAS, called Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test, scheduled for April 2019. During the test, the booster will launch from SLC 46, carrying a fully functional LAS and a 22,000-pound Orion test vehicle to an altitude of 31,000 feet and traveling at more than 1,000 miles an hour. The test will verify the LAS can steer the crew module and astronauts aboard to safety in the event of an issue with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket when the spacecraft is under the highest aerodynamic loads it will experience during a rapid climb into space. NASA's Orion and Exploration Ground Systems programs and their contractors from Jacob's and Northrup Grumman in conjunction with the Air Force Space and Missile Center's Launch Operations branch SMC/LEXO, are performing the pathfinding exercises and flight operations for AA-2.


  • Title: Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) Ground Test Motor Arrival
  • Creator: NASA/Leif Heimbold
  • Date Created: 2018-07-20
  • Location: Vehicle Assembly Building
  • Rights: KSC
  • Album: ajwatso3

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