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NASA, Lockheed Power Up First Orion Bound for Space

Technicians prepare Orion for its power-up test. Credit: Lockheed Martin photo

Engineers from NASA and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver powered up the crew module for first Orion capsule scheduled to fly in space, according to an Oct. 28 press release from prime contractor Lockheed.

The test, performed at the Test Launch and Control Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, was essentially a check for the craft’s avionics systems. Operators introduced software scripts to the crew module’s main control computers to test what Lockheed called in its release Orion’s “heart and brains.”

Further tests are scheduled for the crew module over the next six months, Lockheed said. The craft is set for its first spaceflight, an uncrewed mission to test its heat shield, in late 2014. Orion will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket.

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