While final assembly continues on the Orion spacecraft that will make the program’s first solo flight, the major pieces of the next spacecraft are being assembled alongside for the first crewed mission. A crew of four is planned to take the spacecraft on a Lunar flyby during the Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) test flight.
The Crew Module and Crew Module Adapter are still mostly structures, but Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin is working with NASA to assemble, integrate, and test the EM-2 elements in parallel with the final work being done with the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) spacecraft that will fly uncrewed. Once the primary and secondary structure installations are complete, technicians will begin welding fluid system lines and then eventually installing other components, including the systems to support the crew during EM-2.
Crew Module primary structure proof tested
The Crew Module is built around the pressure vessel that is the living and working area for Orion crews. The Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) module recently completed its proof pressure test in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, following installation of additional hardware to fill out its primary structure.
“We just completed it,” Jules Schneider, Lockheed ...