Orion launch abort system testing, 2011

Orion launch abort system testing, 2011

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Orion launch abort system testing. Orion spacecraft ground test vehicle and its Launch Abort System (LAS) being tested. The LAS encloses the crew module, with the panels made of a composite layered carbon fibre material. This test uses sound pressure levels that emulate those experienced at launch. The test is being conducted at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Denver, Colorado, USA. Developed by NASA, with a test flight taking place in 2014, the first Orion crewed launches are scheduled for around 2023. The Orion spacecraft are intended for use in Earth orbit, and for human exploration of the Moon, the asteroids and of Mars. Photographed on 15 September 2011.

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