The 404-day clock to connect, checkout, and test the first integrated Orion spacecraft for its flight to the Moon started in early November with the arrival of the European Service Module (ESM) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. All of the major Orion hardware for Exploration Mission-1 is in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at KSC for the first time, where prime contractor Lockheed Martin will finish assembly.
There is essentially no padding in the year-long schedule, so technicians wasted no time unpacking the ESM and immediately began preparations to mate the U.S.-built Crew Module Adapter (CMA) to the top of the module.
The schedule calls for completion of assembly and checkout of the first integrated Orion, a series of tests of the new vehicle in Ohio, and final work back at KSC to hand it over to Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) for launch processing.
ESM assembly complete, flown to KSC
ESM Flight Model-1 (FM-1) arrived at KSC onboard an Antonov An-124 aircraft inside a transportation container, with the jumbo jet touching down at the Shuttle Landing Facility on November 6.
Completion of FM-1, the first ESM flight article, is a major milestone in Orion Program development ...