NASA Orion Spacecraft
Source: NASA

A man landed on the moon in the seventies. Now, NASA is planning to return to the moon. The Company is performing many space exploration tests these days. NASA successfully completed the test of the Orion spacecraft today.

This critical launch-abort test took place this morning. It showed that the Orion spacecraft could keep the astronauts safe during an emergency escape. It will also keep the spacecraft on target for its first flight in 2022.

During a NASA broadcast, NASA’s flight safety lead for the test, Ashley Tarpley said, “The whole scene looked marvelous. I think that the test went great and we couldn’t have hoped for anything better.”

The test version of the Orion Spacecraft hit the skies from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The engineers attached the Spacecraft to a first stage motor with a peacekeeper ballistic missile. The Capsule got to an altitude of 31,000 feet after fifty-two seconds. After that, the Launch Abort System (LAS) of the Spacecraft launched itself.

The LAS motor fired at that time, which released 400,000 lbs of thrust. It pulled Orion away from the booster and an overall 7Gs of force released in the process. At that time, Orion moved at around 800 mph. According to the NASA officials, the craft had a high temperature and pressure.

At the height of 44,000 feet and 80 seconds into the flight, the LAS tower separated from Orion. After that, it began descending at a rapid pace. Just three minutes after the flight, everything was over. The capsule hit the Atlantic hard at 300 mph. Due to this, the capsule broke and sank into the ocean. This fate was what NASA had expected. The reason is that the capsule flew without any parachutes or other safety measures.

Orion Program Manager, Mark Kirasich, said on July 1, “We used this method to get results quickly. We also wanted to get data quickly. We are proceeding with the mission.” He also referred to the different pressure and temperature variables on the flight today.

Two future missions include NASA’s Space launch system (SLS) and the launch of Orion flight. The name of the mission is Artemis 1. It is still in the developmental phase. Artemis 1 mission is set to launch in summer 2020. In this mission, Orion spacecraft will go on a journey to the moon, without the crew. This is the first mission for the long-awaited SLS. If everything goes perfectly, NASA will launch the Artemis 2 mission in 2022. It will be a crewed flight. It sounds surprising, but this lunar mission will be the first trip of astronauts outside Earth’s orbit since the Apollo moon mission ended in 1972.

Artemis is quite an ambitious NASA’s space exploration program. It aims to land astronauts in the south pole of the moon by 2024. It also aims to build a long-term presence around Earth Neighbors. The ultimate mission of this program will be sending a crewed spacecraft mission to Mars. NASA hopes to achieve it by 2030. NASA has named today’s Orion Spacecraft test as Ascent Abort-2. This was the second test of Orion’s escape system. The first one took place in May 2010 when the test capsule lifted off the ground in a pad abort test.

Escape systems are a vital part of NASA’s spaceships. They are necessary to save the lives of the crew in case of danger. For example, Russian Soyuz Spacecraft has a ‘puller’ tower. This emergency aircraft moved into service last October during the crew launch to the International Space Station. NASA has used the LAS during a mission for the first time, since 1983. The LAS is the most advanced escape system built by NASA. It will ensure that Orion is the safest rocket ever designed by NASA. LAS launches in milliseconds and removes the crew component from the rocket at a fast speed. Let us hope that NASA’s Artemis program succeeds.

Related: NASA Mars Helicopter undergoes Final Testing Before 2020 Mission