Coming off this year’s manifest changes to the early missions in NASA’s Exploration campaign, the outline and major parameters for the first crewed Orion flight were formally updated to reflect those big picture updates. Exploration Mission-2 is still a test flight to check out Orion with crew system upgrades and circumnavigate the Moon, but the early part of the mission was reworked to take into account the change in configuration of the Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle.
The SLS Boosters and Core Stage will leave its upper stage with Orion attached in a higher insertion orbit on EM-2. After a revised post-insertion sequence, the upper stage will take Orion and crew to an even higher and more elliptical orbit than earlier plans. Following separation from the upper stage, Orion will spend almost a day longer in Earth orbit than previously planned at the start of the mission before leaving Earth for a Lunar flyby.
Transferring higher SLS performance to higher MECO orbit, ICPS
The Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) mission has always been the first Orion crewed flight, but the mission profile has gone through multiple revisions over the years, from a high-lunar orbit mission to a cislunar rendezvous with an ...