Building the Stage Adapter for Orion and SLS
Building the Stage Adapter for Orion and SLS

NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are collaborating to design and build the Stage Adapter that will attach the Orion crew vehicle to the United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Heavy rocket that will launch the spacecraft during Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in 2014. Langley recently completed the diaphragm pathfinder for the stage adapter. The diaphragm is a contamination barrier, which keeps the gases from the launch vehicle away from the spacecraft

The pathfinder (shown above) is a piece of the diaphragm that acts as a demonstration unit, which will improve the overall performance of the manufacturing process used to develop the stage adapter.

EFT-1 will be the first launch of Orion. During the flight test, Orion will travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. In 2017, the stage adapter will connect NASA's Space Launch System rocket to Orion on Exploration Mission-1. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history and is designed to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs.

Image: NASA/LaRC

Page Last Updated: March 28th, 2014
Page Editor: Brooke Boen