NASA on Saturday showcased its Orion capsule that will fly on the Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2). This AA-2 is a vital but small test to validate the launch of the abort system aimed at saving the lives of astronauts in the event of an in-flight anomaly or issue occurring with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The massive SLS rocket will take the Orion capsule to space, and this capsule will carry four astronauts at a time into space. The AA-2 crew capsule is currently being prepared ath the NASA’s Johnson Space Centre. It is set for its final launch in April 2019.
“We have two more flight tests that we will carry out before we put crew on board. The first one is just about exactly a year away, it is called AA-2 and it will test the ascent abort system of the Orion spacecraft.It is just a three-minute test, but it will be an exciting three minutes,” said Ellen Ochoa, a former astronaut and the director of Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
AA-2 flight test is very important to ensure the safety of astronauts in the Orion capsule. The AA-2 is a three minute test, but the only full-scale systems tests will be done before they put the final crew on the vehicle. “It is critical to making sure we can get crew away safely in the event of an emergency,” said Jenny Devolites, NASA’s AA-2 crew module deputy manager.