Lockheed Martin, NASA test avionics on Orion spacecraft

Avionics systems on the new Orion spacecraft have been tested by Lockheed Martin and NASA prior to a test flight later this year.
By Richard Tomkins  |  April 8, 2014 at 7:54 AM
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DENVER, April 8 (UPI) -- Avionics aboard a new spacecraft that will carry humans into deep space have been tested at the Lockheed Martin Operations & Checkout facility in Florida.

The testing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida by Lockheed and NASA verified the avionics systems would support a successful flight and re-entry of the Orion crew module in the unmanned Exploratory Flight Test-1.

"Each and every one of these systems is critical to mission success and they must perform flawlessly to ensure the safety of future crews," said Cleon Lacefield, Lockheed Martin Orion program manager. "Now that we've finished functional testing, the team will conduct performance testing and turn on all the systems at once, simulating the spacecraft's operations during EFT-1."

The performance testing will involve a launch into space and same-day return to obtain critical data about Orion's heat shield, flight systems, and capabilities.

Lockheed said that in the testing of the avionics, engineers sent commands to more than 20 different critical systems installed on the spacecraft's crew module.

Orion’s unmanned Exploratory Flight Test-1 is expected to take place at the end of this year. A manned Orion is expected to be carried aloft after 2020.

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