Orion Heads West
The nearly 10-ton Orion crew module simulator (aka mock-up) is loaded into a C-17 plane on Thursday, March 27, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
The Orion crew module mock-up was fabricated at Langley for the first test of the astronaut escape system. The C-17 transported the mock-up to Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., for further test preparations including the installation of flight computers, instruments and other electronics.
In late 2008, the full-size structural model will be propelled off a simulated launch pad at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to test the spacecraft's astronaut escape system, which will ensure a safe, reliable method of escape for astronauts in case of an emergency.
Credit: NASA/Sean Smith