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Piecing together NASA’s crewed Deep Space spacecraft

18 Sep 2017, 22:22 UTC
Piecing together NASA’s crewed Deep Space spacecraft
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The first Orion spacecraft that will be capable of transporting NASA astronauts into deep space is now being constructed. Although it won’t launch until 2022 at the earliest, the Exploration Mission -2 (EM-1) Orion structural pieces are being constructed and readied at AMRO in California ahead of a trip to the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans where they will be welded together to create the spacecraft.

EM-2 Orion:
As with the previous NASA crew transportation vehicle, the Space Shuttle, California is the birthplace for the EM-2 Orion, with AMRO Fabricating Corporation showing off the first structural piece of the first crewed Orion spacecraft at its facility in South El Monte, California.
The window cone panel is one of seven structural elements that will be welded together to form the pressure vessel of NASA’s human spacecraft and one of three that AMRO manufactures.
Although the Space Shuttle was fully assembled in Palmdale, California, the panels constructed at AMRO will be shipped to the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, Louisiana to get ready for welding.
Interestingly, AMRO was also involved with the Shuttle External Tanks, which were also assembled at MAF.
The window cone panel was the first ...

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