Space

Welding Underway on Orion Crew Module for First Artemis Mission Landing Astronauts on the Moon

Welding Orion Crew Module

Credit: NASA

At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, technicians from Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin have welded together three cone-shaped panels on Orion’s crew module for the Artemis III mission that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon.

The crew module’s primary structure, the pressure vessel, is comprised of seven machined aluminum alloy pieces that are welded together through a weld process that produces a strong, air-tight habitable space for astronauts during the mission. The pressure vessel is designed to withstand the harsh and demanding environment of deep space, and is the core structure upon which all the other elements of Orion’s crew module are integrated. 

With welding complete on the crew module cone panels – one of which contains windows providing astronauts views of the Moon and Earth – work will begin joining the forward bulkhead to the tunnel to create the top of the spacecraft, followed by the barrel and aft bulkhead join to form the bottom of Orion.

Credit: NASA

Last, the forward bulkhead will be welded to the top of the panels and, for the seventh and closeout weld, the bottom of the cone panels will be joined to the barrel to complete the pressure vessel. Once welding of the Artemis III crew module primary structure is complete, it will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida where it will undergo further assembly beginning this fall.

Orion, the Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems programs are foundational elements of the Artemis program. Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of Orion and SLS and is targeted to launch later this year. Artemis II will follow and is the first crewed mission, taking humans farther into space than ever before.

Share

View Comments

  • Its not the construction crews that will cause this to fail. Its the good old boy attitude that killed so many American's going to space. No other country has this problem. Any Gov't job is going to suffer in the end. Corruption is rampant at NASA.

By
NASA

Recent Posts

Dramatic Satellite Images Show Power Outages After Hurricane Ian

Several cities on the west coast of Florida lost much of their electric power for…

October 7, 2022

Key Building Block for Life Likely Discovered on One of Saturn’s Moons

The subsurface ocean of Saturn's moon is most likely rich in phosphorus, a key component…

October 7, 2022

Shhh! Viruses Could Be Listening – And Watching!

New Research Finds That Viruses May Have “Eyes and Ears” on Us The newly-found, widespread…

October 7, 2022

Artificial Superstrong Silkworm Silk Is 70% Stronger Than Spider Silk

Although spiders hold the market for the strongest silks, they are too aggressive and territorial…

October 7, 2022

Monstrous “Mega-Earthquake” Triggered by Impact That Killed the Dinosaurs

A 6-mile (10-kilometer) asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago, triggering the extinction of the…

October 7, 2022

“Lasting Consequences” – 2020 May Have Harmed the Social Development of Young Adults

The multitude of stressful events could be responsible for this impact.  The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak,…

October 7, 2022