"It is extremely exciting to see the heat shield in place, ready to do its job," said
The heat shield is made of a coating called Avcoat, which burns away as it heats up in a process called ablation to prevent the transfer of extreme temperatures to the crew module. The Avcoat is covered with a silver reflective tape that protects the material from the extreme cold temperatures of space.
Orion's flight test, or Exploration Flight Test-1, will provide engineers with data about the heat shield's ability to protect Orion and its future crews from the 4,000-degree heat of reentry and an ocean splashdown following the spacecraft's 20,000-mph reentry from space.
Data gathered during the flight will inform decisions about design improvements on the heat shield and other Orion systems, and authenticate existing computer models and new approaches to space systems design and development. This process is critical to reducing overall risks and costs of future Orion missions -- missions that will include exploring an asteroid and Mars.
Orion's flight test also will provide important data for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and ocean recovery of Orion. Engineers at
The heat shield was manufactured at
In the coming months, the Orion crew and service modules will be joined and put through functional tests before the spacecraft is transported to
Keywords for this news article include:
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC
Most Popular Stories
- GE Healthcare Bringing Jobs to Massachusetts
- Hispanic NASCAR Driver Ready to Make History
- Faith Groups Divest From Fossil Fuels
- James Foley Killer Could Be ID'd Via Social Media, Voice Recognition
- James Foley Beheading Video Is Real Thing: White House
- Apple Stock Bounces Back Big Time
- Bank of America Agrees to Pay Record $16.65 Billion
- Stocks Moving Higher Again for 4th Day
- Entrepreneur Contest Announced in Idaho
- U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise 4th Month Straight