The first set of two Ogive panels for the Orion Launch Abort System was uncrated inside the Launch Abort System Facility, or LASF, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. One of the panels has been lifted by crane and technicians are preparing it for the move to a storage stand at the other end of the facility. During processing, the panels will be secured around the Orion crew module and attached to the Launch Abort System.
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 Orion is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a Delta IV rocket and in 2017 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Dan Casper