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Emily Outen
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RELEASE : 08-022
NASA's Langley Research Center Tapped for Orion Sensor Testing

HAMPTON, Va. -- NASA's Langley Research Center has been selected to implement a shuttle-based demonstration of navigation sensors for the Orion crew capsule's future rendezvous, proximity operations and docking with the International Space Station. The Orion crew module is part of NASA's Constellation Program of next generation spacecraft that will return humans to the moon. The program includes the Ares I and Ares V rockets and the Altair human lunar lander.

"This assignment is about reducing risks associated with first use of the navigation sensors on the Orion crew capsule that bring docking adapters to the space station," said Barry Meredith, manager of the Langley Orion Project.

Langley's responsibilities will include system integration and testing, overall project management and system engineering. The team will develop software, manage ground operations and crew training, and design and fabricate attachment brackets and the pressurized sensor enclosure. The sensor systems will be supplied by Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the Orion crew capsule and tested on space shuttle mission STS-132. Frank Novak, assistant head for the Remote Sensing Flight Systems Branch, will lead the Langley team.

The selection committee considered criteria such as the validity of the estimated resources, expertise in similar test flight scenarios and in space shuttle payload integration and the availability and technical expertise of support personnel.

"The Langley team brings significant technical expertise in relative navigation sensor testing, space sensor operations and space shuttle integration," said Mark Geyer, Orion project manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Langley's efforts will support Constellation Program operations for future human missions aboard the Orion crew capsule to the space station and the moon.

For more information about NASA's Constellation Program, visit:


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