March 18, 2014

Orion According to a recent NASA article, the launch of Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) has shifted from September-October to early December, while integration and testing progress continues to make strides.

The test flight, which will prove that many of the spacecraft’s key systems including computers, software and the capsule’s heat shield perform effectively, has been pushed back an estimated three months “to support allowing more opportunities for launches this year,” according to NASA.

Meanwhile, inside the Kennedy Space Center’s Operations and Checkout Facility, progress on the Orion progress is marching on. NASA indicates that nearly all of the spacecraft’s avionics components have been installed, and system by system, the engineers are powering them up. In the article, NASA states, “It's a methodical, deliberate process, in which each connector is checked individually before they're hooked up and the system turned on to make sure each battery, heater, camera and processor - to name a few - works on its own, before the entire system is turned on together. Otherwise, one faulty cable could damage an entire, one-of-a-kind system.”

Once functional testing processes are completed, the project will move on to integration testing, as all systems will attempt to work together to operate the crew module as a whole. Orion’s EFT-1 has been delayed by a few months, but integration and software testing efforts continue to make promising strides, according to NASA. 

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