Building Expertise for Orion and SLS Flight Hardware
Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., conduct their first circumferential weld of the "pathfinder" version of the adapter design that will be used on test flights of the Orion spacecraft and NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). The adapter eventually will connect the Orion spacecraft to the SLS. It will be flight tested on Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, when it will be used to connect the Orion spacecraft to a Delta IV heavy-lift rocket. The pathfinder is being used to develop the processes and techniques that will be used on flight hardware.
Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given