Northrop, Lockheed test Orion abort engine

NASA’s Orion spacecraft launch abort system abort engine completes its final qualification test at the Northrop Grumman Promontory Test Range in Utah.

Northrop Grumman

Promontory, Utah – Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin successfully completed the final full-scale ground test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft’s Launch Abortion System (LAS) abort engine at the test facility Northrop Grumman Promontory on March 31, 2022.

The 17-foot-tall abort engine is one of three engines making up the LAS that sits atop the Orion spacecraft aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and is designed to increase safety astronauts on the pad and during the initial ascent.

About 250 measurement channels rated the engine abort as the four skyward-pointing exhaust nozzles produced nearly 400,000 pounds of thrust during its two-second firing time. The test concludes verification of a new insulation formulation and completes qualification testing for Orion’s LAS.

“This impressive high-impulse engine burns three times faster than a typical engine of this size, and if necessary, reverse-flow nozzles pull the crew capsule away from the launcher and to safety,” said Wendy Williams. , Vice President, Propulsion Systems, Northrop Grumman. “Together, the three solid rocket motors of the LAS equip the SLS with the highest thrust and acceleration safety system possible for humans.”

The first active LAS system will be integrated into the Orion spacecraft for Artemis II, the first crewed flight of SLS.

The Launch Abort System atop NASA's Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket for Artemis I.The Launch Abort System atop NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket for Artemis I.Nasa

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