On July 2nd, NASA’s Orion rocket’s launch abort system had undergone a final test flight. The launch abort system (LAS) was successfully launched from Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 46, and it lasted 3 minutes and 13 seconds, during which time LAS performed as designed.
NASA’s Orion is a space shuttle destined to transport astronauts at low Earth orbit or far away into space. Orion is designed to be the first crew vehicle of the Artemis mission which plans to take the first woman, alongside men, to the moon and, eventually, to Mars. Orion resembles the Apollo space shuttle that took astronauts to the moon for the first time but is more technologically advanced.
Orion is comprised of the crew module (CM), the ATV-based European service module (ESM), and the launch abort system (LAS).
LAS. Lockheed Martin Corporation, an American company that deals with aerospace technologies, was the enterprise that created LAS and built Orion spacecraft.
NASA’s Orion rocket would launch in 2020 as part of the Artemis 1 mission
The purpose of the mission was to test the Orion Launch Abort System. The launch abort system is supposed to help the astronauts to avoid getting hurt if there is something wrong with the shuttle launch.
In case of emergency, LAS is going to disconnect the CM from the launch vehicle with the help of three rocket motors: the abort motor which will split the CM from the spacecraft, the attitude control motor will change the module’s trajectory, and the jettison motor will throw away the Orion capsule.
During the test flight, the LAS was designated to activate after one minute after it started to ascend at 31,000 feet. Throughout this time, the booster was supposed to continue to fire. This test flight was the last one to verify if the launch abort system is working correctly to prepare for the anticipated 2020 Orion space shuttle launch into space as a component of NASA’s Artemis 1 mission.