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Artemis 2's Heat Shield is installed on Orion

Artemis 2's heat shield has been installed on the Orion Spacecraft

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Dakota W.

Dakota W.

Tue Jun 27 2023Written by Dakota W.

Inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the installation of the heat shield for the Artemis II Orion spacecraft was successfully completed on June 22.

The heat shield, measuring 16.5 feet wide, is a critical component ensuring the safe return of astronauts. As the spacecraft embarks on its mission around the Moon, it will face external temperatures nearing 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit and reach speeds of approximately 25,000 mph. However, thanks to Orion's thermal protection system, the astronauts will experience a much more comfortable mid-70s temperature inside the spacecraft.

In preparation for upcoming acoustic testing, the spacecraft will soon be outfitted with external panels. These tests, scheduled for later this summer, will assess the crew module's capability to withstand vibrations encountered throughout the entire Artemis II mission, encompassing launch, flight, and landing.

Once acoustic testing is concluded, a major milestone for the Artemis II mission will be reached as technicians attach the crew module to Orion's service module. This mission, the first to carry astronauts under the Artemis program, aims to comprehensively test and evaluate all of Orion's systems required for future crewed missions.