State-of-the-Art Heat Shield Arrives At Kennedy Space Center For Assembly, Integration With Orion Crew Module

By  //  July 11, 2019

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will protect astronauts upon re-entry

The state-of-the-art heat shield, measuring roughly 16 feet in diameter, which will protect astronauts upon re-entry on the second mission of Artemis, arrived this week at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for assembly and integration with the Orion crew module. (NASA Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – The state-of-the-art heat shield, measuring roughly 16 feet in diameter, which will protect astronauts upon re-entry on the second mission of Artemis, arrived this week at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for assembly and integration with the Orion crew module.

Artemis 2, the first crewed mission in the series of missions to the Moon and on to Mars, will confirm all of the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed in the actual environment of deep space with astronauts aboard.

The large piece of flight hardware arrived from Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing facility near Denver aboard the NASA Super Guppy aircraft on July 9 and was transported to the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout facility high bay where work will take place on July 10.

Currently, the heat shield is a base titanium truss structure or skeleton. Over the next several months, technicians will apply Avcoat, an ablative material that will provide the thermal protection.

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