Cool Pic: Orion MPCV Abort Acoustics Test

Standing five stories tall fully stacked, the Launch Abort System was mounted atop the Orion MPCV, or Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, last week at the Lockheed Martin’s facilities near Denver. Orion is being prepared for the next round of testing in an acoustic chamber. Each test will expose the Orion MPCV and its launch abort system to acoustic levels exceeding 150 decibels while instruments record the vehicle’s response.

The test vehicles will provide critical data used to model the spacecraft’s capabilities to perform deep space exploration missions. The vehicles will undergo testing at sound pressure levels that emulate those experienced at launch and in the event an abort is needed to carry the crew to safety away from a potential problem on the launch pad or during ascent.

  • Standing five stories tall, the LAS mounted atop the Orion provides a potent monument to sterile design by committee. Does SpaceX have a patent on incorporating the LAS into the capsule? It is such an elegant solution compared to the old style tractors (escape all the way to orbit, lowers the number of separation events on ascent, you can use the mass in later stages of the mission rather than throwing it away, etc).

  • Jason

    SpaceX does not have a patent on that design philosophy; Blue Origin uses it as well.