The Orion crew module mockup heads to a Langley hangar for verification testing prior to shipment to NASA Dryden. NASA photo by Sean Smith. NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia rolled out the first flyable Orion crew module mockup that will inaugurate the flight-testing phase of the Constellation Program.
The mockup, known as the Pad Abort-1 flight test vehicle, will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California later this month for further test preparations, including installation of flight computers, instrumentation and other electronics. Dryden is leading the Orion Abort Flight Test project under the direction of NASA's Johnson Space Center.
NASA's first flight test of the Launch Abort System is scheduled to occur late this year at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The Constellation Program is developing a new space transportation system to travel beyond low Earth orbit, extending human reach to the moon and Mars.