Orion Fairing Separation Test Conducted

©Lockheed Martin

Orion Fairing Separation Test

The three large fairings not only provide protection to these delicate elements from the atmosphere during ascent, but also support the service module against the large stresses seen during launch as the rocket reaches beyond supersonic speeds.

Once Orion is beyond the atmosphere, it jettisons the fairings using six explosive-​powder-​laced zippers called frangible joints on along the edges of each panel as well as six pyro bolts, all firing in rapid succession.

The test was performed on the Orion structural test article at the company's Waterton Canyon facility near Littleton, Colorado in early June. The successful test not only validated the jettison mechanisms but also will be used to validate the structural shock and stress models used in designing the spacecraft.

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