To reduce risk and preserve cost and schedule on Artemis I, the Mass Simulator for Orion (MSO) was built and is undergoing structural testing to serve as a stand-in for the Orion spacecraft during Space Launch System (SLS) testing next year.
This stack of four large steel barrels will simulate the mass and center of gravity of Orion atop the SLS. The barrels were built at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia starting in February 2018. When fully assembled the MSO weighs approximately 75,000 pounds.
Following testing at Langley Research Center, the simulator will be sent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and stacked on the SLS for integrated testing.
Image credit: NASA/David C. Bowman