Building a safe spacecraft is in some ways like building a safe car: If you don’t want your astronauts to die, you need to test the vehicle thoroughly. And just like cars, that means using crash test dummies.
The Orion Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) spacecraft is about to get its heat shield, which is manufactured in large part by Lockheed Martin. Building the heat shield involved a so-called out of autoclave (OOA) cure process, a high temperature, high pressure method for manufacturing composite materials, such as carbon…
NASA engineers are continuing to work out the details for Orion, the spacecraft that will take actual humans to the next frontiers of space. Among many changes for the next mission in a few year’s time is a new and very shiny paint.
NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft is one of the most extravagant cargo planes in the world. The awkwardly shaped aircraft has been in service since 1965, and was specifically designed to carry oversized payloads, like rocket stages and spacecrafts. This Tuesday she was fed with the Orion service module stacking assembly…
When we see new images showing how NASA is moving ahead with their Orion Program there is often a Project Apollo feeling, because of the similarities between the two US space mission. This new photo gives us such dejà vu too.
What’s that big metal donut on the ceiling? Actually, it’s part of NASA’s forthcoming Orion Service Module, about to be tested to ensure it can withstand the vibrations it will be exposed to during launch and travel.
NASA’s next-gen spacecraft, Orion, was originally scheduled to launch with astronauts aboard in 2021, but owing to the space agency’s history of running into unexpected problems, it has decided to delay this important test flight by two years.
Following a tweet showing a shadow that looked a bit like him on Mars, Big Bird has denied that he’s ever been to Mars. But no one was suggesting that he had. Methinks the bird doth protest too much.
Given how high-tech spacecraft tend to be, I was surprised to learn that existing space vehicles tend to use good old-fashioned glass (albeit a rather expensive kind). But for the next-gen Orion spacecraft, NASA has been working overtime to find something stronger, lighter, and just a little less fragile.
These NASA employees may be lying down, but the experience isn't perhaps as relaxing as it looks. This is how the space agency goes about testing spacesuits ahead of launch.
NASA successfully live-fired the new booster for its Space Launcher System today. It's the largest, most powerful booster ever built, putting one hell of a scorch mark into the desert. And yes, there's a video.
Lockheed Martin has published a surprising list of all the stuff that flew to space in the first Orion test. You are looking at one of the items: A Tyrannosaurus Rex's tooth fossil sent by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Here's another one: A Cookie Monster's cookie and Ernie's original rubber duckie.
It's amazing how effective the thermal shield of NASA's Orion spacecraft is. With all of the back shell panels removed for a viewing by Kennedy Space Center workers, you can hardly see any heat-related damage under the skin of the spacecraft.
Earlier this month, NASA scored a major victory with the flawless launch of the Orion prototype spacecraft. The space agency has now released a thrilling new video showing an astronaut's-eye view from the crew module's window as it returned to Earth.
A few days ago, we saw what astronauts see when they reenter Earth's atmosphere in the Soyuz space capsule. But that awesome array of sparks and glowing heat waves pales in comparison to new reentry footage recently taken from a camera on the Orion crew module.
This year, humanity landed on its first comet, a child was born to a woman with a transplanted womb, and a fossilized sea shell forced us to reconsider our conceptions of human culture. Those are just a taste of the 20 achievements, innovations, and advances we've selected for our roundup of 2014's biggest…
The Pathways Interns of NASA's Johnson Space Center made "All About That Space" as a way to raise interest and excitement in the Orion launch (as if we needed it!). It's the most charming thing in the whole world.
Since Orion launched on Friday, we've seen dozens of fabulous photos of NASA's EFT-1 mission, mostly of the majestic Delta IV Heavy launch at Kennedy Space Center. But this one is truly outstanding.
Captured on December 5th, somewhere on the infinite Pacific Ocean, this image shows the Orion crew module in the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage after Navy divers recovered it following the first and flawless exploration flight test.
NASA's Orion spacecraft, designed to ferry the first humans to Mars, lifts off from Cape Canaveral on Friday morning. Orion reached speeds of 20,ooo mph and traveled 3,600 miles from Earth before a successful splashdown in the Pacific. [Bill Ingalls/NASA]