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Orion Abort Motor Igniter Test

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Nov 4, 2014 2:21 pm via: NASA
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NASA and Alliant Techsystems Inc. successfully tested the abort motor igniter for Orion’s Launch Abort System (LAS), further qualifying the igniter to be used in future missions. The LAS is positioned atop the Orion crew module and is designed to protect astronauts if a problem arises during launch by pulling the spacecraft away from a failing rocket.

The igniter design allows the LAS abort motor to activate within milliseconds, lifting the crew module to safety. During the test, the igniter underwent vibrations and extreme temperatures, simulating its hottest flight conditions. Orion is the first spacecraft capable of taking humans to deep space. On Dec. 4, 2014, Orion will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

The spacecraft’s first flight test will be a two-orbit, 4.5-hour flight that will test many of the systems most critical to safety. Because the test is uncrewed, only the jettison motor will be active on the LAS.

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