At NASA’s Artemis missile, a unique spacecraft will fly. Orion, NASA’s new spacecraft, has been developed to depict astronauts and is an integral part of ultimately sending them to Mars.
The inactive Orion will be tested on Artemis I and travels 25,000 miles [40,000 km] through the Moon, far farther than any spacecraft built for humans. The missions will prepare the Artemis II campaign and the next assignment that will bring the astronauts to the surface of the Moon and the Gate of the Moon.
The Orion team and the service module will carry the astronauts to a deeper level. The abortion program, mounted on the spacecraft, is used only to pull the crew module and the astronauts inside it safely away from the rocket in the event of an emergency. It will be flown after a successful launch and carry-on—a Space Launch System rocket.
Orion personnel module, sometimes called a capsule, brings more than 60 years of NASA space exploration experience. Built by chief contractor Lockheed Martin, it can accommodate four astronauts for up to 21 days without stopping another spacecraft. Advances in deep space technology such as health support, aviation, electrical systems, and modern thermal protection will support staff during launch, arrival, and recovery.
The lower structure of the crew module is called the pressure vessel. The pressure vessel consists of seven large pieces of aluminum alloy welded together using friction-stir welding at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The process produces a strong but light, thick capsule.
Covering the compression vessel is a protective cover on the cone-shaped sides of the crew module known as the backshell, made of 1,300 heat protection system tiles. Tiles are made of silica fiber materials similar to those used for more than 30 years in a space shuttle and will protect the spacecraft from both cold and extreme heat re-entry.
The floor of the capsule, which will receive scorching temperatures as Orion returns to Earth, is covered by the Earth’s most enormous thermal shield, 16.5 feet wide. The heat shield will protect Orion as it enters Earth’s atmosphere, initially traveling at about 25,000 mph and withstands temperatures of around 5,000 ° F – almost half the temperature of the Sun.
The outer surface of the heat shield is made of blocks of an object called Avcoat, a redesigned version of the material used in Apollo tablets. During the descent, Avcoat breaks down or burns in a controlled manner, transferring heat away from Orion.
Forward Bay Cover
The front bay cover at the top of the staff module protects the upper part of Orion’s capsule and parachute during launch, orbital flight, and re-entry. It was covered with the same heat-resistant tiles as the backshell. After the spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, it is thrown at an altitude of about 23,000 feet to allow for the deployment of the parachute system.