NASA Set for Critical July 2 Test of Orion Abort System: Photos

Wideview shows technicians ready a test version of NASA’s Orion crew module for
Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) test with its launch abort system attached on July 1,
2019 at Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Launch of the AA-2 mission is slated for Juky 2, 2019 and serves as a critical
safety test that helps pave the way for Artemis missions to the Moon and then
Mars.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM – 1 July 2019

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – NASA is all set to carry out a critical full stress test of the Orion deep space crew capsules abort system Tuesday morning July 2 on the Florida Space Coast – and the weather is looking very good at the moment.

The  Ascent Abort-2 mission is all about savingastronauts lives in case of a rocket emergency and launch failure using the Launch Abort System (LAS) bolted atop the Orion capsule.

Liftoff of the AA2 mission is set for 7 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 46.  The launch window lasts 4 hours until 11 a.m. EDT.

The short three minute long Ascent Abort-2 flight test of the launch abort system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft will have a lasting impact on NASA’s plans to send astronauts back to the Moon on Artemis missions first in orbit and then to the lunar surface by 2024 and eventually to Mars in the
2030s.

Enjoy my photos of the AA2 capsule and test rocket taken during our media remote camera setup at pad 46 today, July 1.

Check back as the gallery grows

 

Technicians ready a test version of NASA’s Orion crew module for Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) test
with its launch abort system attached on July 1, 2019 at Space Launch Complex
46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch of the AA-2 mission
is slated for July 2, 2019 and serves as a critical safety test that helps pave
the way for Artemis missions to the Moon and then Mars.
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
“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,” says NASA
.
The launch vehicle stack stands 93 feet tall and consists of a mock Orion capsule atop a 1st stage retired Peacekeeper motor with the Launch Abort System (LAS) bolted on top.
At T + 55 seconds engineers will intentionally trigger a launch abort at 31,000 feet, nearly 6 miles altitude to carry the crew module safely away from the rocket.
Technicians ready a test version of NASA’s Orion crew module for Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) test
with its launch abort system attached on July 1, 2019 at Space Launch Complex
46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch of the AA-2 mission
is slated for July 2, 2019 and serves as a critical safety test that helps pave
the way for Artemis missions to the Moon and then Mars.
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Here’s a NASA blog about todays prelaunch briefing:
With weather at 80 percent go for launch and everything proceeding as planned, optimism and enthusiasm were high at Monday morning’s Ascent Abort-2 flight test preview news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“We are incredibly excited,” said Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 crew module manager and test conductor. “It’s such an honor to be a part of this activity and to have this opportunity.” 
The Ascent Abort-2 flight test of the launch abort system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, featuring a test version of the crew module, will lift off from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday, July 2. The four-hour launch window opens at 7 a.m. EDT. NASA
TV
will broadcast launch activities, starting at 6:40 a.m. A postlaunch briefing is  scheduled for approximately two hours after launch. Audio of this briefing will stream live on the agency’s website
Orion will help pave the way for Artemis missions with astronauts to the Moon and then Mars.
“This test is extremely important,” said Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager. “Our Launch Abort System is a key safety feature of the spacecraft — it will protect the crew members who fly
onboard Orion during the most challenging part of the mission, which is the ascent phase.” 
Ascent Abort-2 will verify Orion’s abort system can pull the crew module away from an emergency during its ascent to space. The two main objectives: execute the abort by demonstrating it can be
completed end to end, and collect key data. There are approximately 900 sensors — including temperature sensors, pressure sensors and microphones —located throughout the vehicle.
At liftoff, the booster will provide about 500,000 pounds of thrust. It will take 55 seconds to ascend to 31,000 feet, traveling more than 800 mph, at which point the abort will be initiated and the
abort motor will ignite. Also igniting will be the attitude control motor, which provides steering. 
Twenty-seven seconds after the abort, the jettison motor will ignite, pulling away the Launch Abort System from the crew module. The crew module will then free-fall and descend back to the ocean. As a backup communication system, 12 ejectable data recorders eject into the water
in pairs. The highest altitude reached will be about 45,000 feet. 
“It’s certainly a very exciting test for us tomorrow because it is so important,” NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik said. “The neat part is the next time this whole Launch Abort System flies, there will be crew underneath it in Artemis 2.”

 

Ken will be onsite at the Kennedy Space Center for live coverage of NASA’s Orion Ascent Abort-2 test launch.  
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Jul 1/2: Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL, evenings.  Learn more about the upcoming/recent NASA Orion Ascent-2 Abort test  Falcon Heavy, NASA 2024 Moon landing
goal, SpaceX Starlink-1,
SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-17 launch to ISS, SpaceX Demo-1 launch/test failure, SpaceX Beresheet launch, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, Northrop Grumman Antares, SpySats and more

Ken’s will display his photos for sale

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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