Astronauts rehearse crew egress procedures using an Orion test model in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas in July 2017. (NASA Photo)
Systima Technologies says it’s been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin Space Systems to provide pyrotechnically actuated hatch mechanisms for NASA’s Orion deep-space crew capsule.
The mechanisms will be part of a side hatch latch release system that would come into play in the event of an emergency landing condition after splashdown, the Kirkland, Wash.-based company said in a news release.
The Orion is currently in the midst of development, leading up to Exploration Mission-1, an uncrewed test flight beyond the moon and back that’s planned for the 2020 time frame. That would be followed by the first crewed flight, known as Exploration Mission-2, currently scheduled for as early as 2022. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the multibillion-dollar Orion development program.
The mechanism that Systima is working on would be used on the EM-2 flight.
In the event of an emergency, Orion’s crew would have the option of activating “Pin Pusher” and “Pin Puller” mechanisms that would use pyrotechnic charges to release the latch pins on the spacecraft’s hatch and enable a safe ...