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NASA Completes Welding on Lunar Orion

In 2018, NASA’s Orion will launch an unpiloted flight, named ‘Exploration Mission’ or ‘EM-1’. It is counted as the first flight of a human-rated spacecraft to deep space since the Apollo Moon landing era ended, more than 40 years ago.

Orion is designed to send astronauts deeper into space than ever before. This will include missions to the Moon, asteroids and even Mars.

In a statement, Mike Sarafin, Exploration Mission-1 manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington stated: “We’ve started off the year with a key step in our process to get ready for Exploration Mission-1, when together Orion and SLS will travel farther than a spacecraft built for humans has ever traveled,”

“This brings us closer to our goal of testing our deep space exploration systems in the proving ground of lunar space before we begin sending astronauts days to weeks from Earth.”

In September 2015, Michoud technicians started to weld together seven large aluminium pieces that comprised the pressure vessel. This process was highly precise and is known as ‘friction-stir welding’. The welding work to assemble the primary structure of NASA’s maiden Lunar Orion capsule finished just last month on 13 January.

The pressure vessel is comprised of seven large aluminum pieces that Michoud technicians began welding together in September 2015 using a highly precise state-of-the-art process called friction-stir welding.

So, welding isn’t just extremely useful on Earth…

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