Lockheed Martin reported that his technicians at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans had completed the construction of the pressure vessel for the Orion Exploration Mission 2 spacecraft. The pressure vessel is a capsule that will transport four astronauts into outer space during the Orion EM-2 mission in August 2021.
Lockheed is prime contractor for the Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, a long-range spacecraft. Duration, space-estimated by humans. It transports people to interplanetary destinations beyond the Earth's low Earth orbit, such as the Moon and finally Mars, and safely returns them to Earth.
After the congregation was completed, the capsule was transported from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There the Lockheed Martin technicians will begin assembling and integrating into the EM-2 crew module.
Designed to withstand the conditions and requirements of space transportation while keeping the crew safe and productive, the pressure vessel consists of seven large machined aluminum alloy parts welded into a strong, yet lightweight, airtight capsule structure.
The EM-2 mission will be the first manned mission for Orion, the universal interplanetary spacecraft for low-earth orbit exploration and transport (LEO). A first exploration space mission, EM-1
"It's great to see the EM-2 capsule arrive just as we complete the final assembly of the EM-1 crew module," said Mike Hawes. Lockheed Martin Vice President and Program Manager for Orion. "We have learned a lot to build the existing pressure vessels and spacecraft, and the EM-2 spacecraft will be the most powerful, cost effective and efficient we have built."