Northrop Grumman ships Orion's launch abort motor

Posted on 01 Jul 2019 and read 520 times
Northrop Grumman ships Orion's launch abort motorNorthrop Grumman Corp recently shipped the inert abort motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System (LAS) from its facility in Magna (Utah) to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The motor will be integrated with the LAS and Orion spacecraft destined for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System — designated Artemis 1.

Its shipment brings Orion one step closer to Artemis 1 and to enabling humans to explore the moon, Mars and other destinations.

The purpose of the LAS is to safely pull the spacecraft (and crew) out of harm’s way in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during the initial ascent.

The abort motor underwent a series of component tests, culminating in a successful static test in December 2018 at the Northrop Grumman facility in Promontory (Utah) (

Data from these tests confirmed motor activation within milliseconds — under both extreme cold and hot temperatures. The abort motor is 17ft long, 3ft in diameter and has four exhaust nozzles.

The next major abort motor milestone is the Ascent Abort-2 Flight Test (AA-2), which is scheduled to take place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in early July.

In addition to the launch abort motor, Northrop Grumman is providing the launch vehicle.

The abort will take place during ‘Max-Q’, when the dynamic pressure on the spacecraft is greatest.

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