Lockheed Martin Reveals First Orion Spacecraft, SOSC at NASA Showcase
[Satellite TODAY 03-23-11] Lockheed Martin unveiled the first Orion spacecraft and its Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC) at a NASA showcase near the manufacturer’s facilities in Denver, Colo., the company announced March 21.
The Orion spacecraft will now undergo testing to validate the spacecraft’s ability to endure harsh environments in space as it hopes to be ready for its first orbital flight test, scheduled for as early as 2013. NASA expects Orion to be able to provide initial operational flights by 2016 as required by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.
“Our nation’s next bold step in exploration could begin by 2016,” Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager of Human Space Flight John Karas said in a statement.
The multi-million dollar SOSC supports integrated testing of Orion’s relative navigation system, which will be tested on the upcoming STS-134 shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Lockheed demonstrated SOSC simulated missions to an asteroid and the ISS using laser and optically guided robotic navigation systems. The system aims to employ full-scale motion to test and verify multiple NASA mission scenarios.