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Stephanie Schierholz/Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

Emily Outen
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

March 5, 2008
Media Invited to See Hardware Built to Test Astronaut Escape System
HAMPTON, Va. - Reporters are invited to see a mock-up of the Constellation Program's Orion crew vehicle at NASA's Langley Research Center on Wednesday, March 12. The simulated capsule will be used in the first short-range flight test of the spacecraft's astronaut escape system. Project managers from Langley and NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will be available to brief media.

Engineers at Langley fabricated the structure, which precisely represents the size, outer shape and mass characteristics of the Orion space capsule. Part of NASA's fleet of next generation spacecraft, Orion is being designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station and later to the moon.

After testing is complete at Langley, the crew module will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., for further test preparations, including installation of flight computers, instrumentation and other electronics. Dryden will send the completed module to the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where it will be integrated with the escape system for the abort flight test in late 2008.

Media interested attending the presentation and briefing should contact Emily Outen by noon, March 11, at 757-864-7022, 757-272-9859 or 757-344-7211.

NASA's Image of the Day Gallery for March 5 features the mockup. View the picture at:

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

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