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Lockheed Evaluates Orion Spacecraft’s Protective Panels; Lance Lininger Comments

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Lockheed Martin team has completed a series of tests to evaluate how the Orion spacecraft works to jettison its protective fairing panels.

One of the spacecraft’s three fairings was heated to 200 degrees in order to simulate the temperature that Orion will experience while exiting the atmosphere, Lockheed announced Thursday.

The fairings are designed to support half the weight of the crew module and the launch abort system during launch and ascent.

Lance Lininger, Lockheed’s Orion mechanism systems engineering lead, said the Orion team conducted the test to acquire data and certify the fairing design ahead of a flight test next year.

Orion is scheduled to complete its first high orbital mission in September 2014.

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