NASA Test of Orion Abort System for Moon to Mars Missions Set July 2 at Cape Canaveral

By  //  June 30, 2019

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will help pave the way for Artemis missions with astronauts to the Moon and then Mars

NASA Television will broadcast the launch and pre-launch activities for the Ascent Abort-2 flight test of the launch abort system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft’s, which will help pave the way for Artemis missions with astronauts to the Moon and then Mars.

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION – NASA Television will broadcast the launch and pre-launch activities for the Ascent Abort-2 flight test of the launch abort system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft’s, which will help pave the way for Artemis missions with astronauts to the Moon and then Mars.

The test’s four-hour launch window opens at 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 2. A test version of the crew module will launch from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:40 a.m.

NASA also will host a test preview news conference at 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 1, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Participants include:

  • Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager
  • Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 test conductor
  • Randy Bresnik, NASA astronaut

The launch and preview news conference will air on NASA TV and the agency’s website

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, STS-129 mission specialist, participates in the mission’s third and final session of extravehicular activity in November 2009, as construction and maintenance continued on the International Space Station. (NASA image)

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Ascent Abort-2 will verify Orion’s abort system can pull the crew module away from an emergency during its ascent to space.

During approximately three minutes of flight, a booster will loft the test capsule about six miles into the atmosphere to experience high-stress aerodynamic conditions, at which point the abort sequence will be triggered to carry the crew module a safe distance from the rocket.

The test flight will help ensure the safety of astronauts in the unlikely event an emergency arises as they rocket into space.

Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Space Launch System and Gateway, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

Through the Artemis program, the next American Moon walkers will depart Earth aboard Orion and begin a new era of exploration.

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