Press Release

Media Invited to NASA Langley Orion Ascent Abort-2 Test Panel Discussion

By SpaceRef Editor
June 21, 2019
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 Media are invited to hear from local members of the NASA team working on an uncrewed flight test of the launch abort system of NASA’s Orion spacecraft. This test, Ascent Abort-2, will demonstrate the abort system can activate, steer the spacecraft, and carry astronauts to a safe distance if an emergency arises during Orion’s climb to orbit.

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia is hosting a panel discussion about the upcoming Orion Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) on June 25 at 2 p.m. EDT. This event will be an opportunity to hear from experts responsible for the Launch Abort System (LAS) integration on Orion and the crew module and other equipment being used in the test.

The panel will feature Kurt Detweiler, NASA Langley project manager, Orion AA-2 Crew Module/Separation Ring Structures and Ground Support Equipment, Barmac Taleghani, NASA Langley deputy project manager, Orion AA-2 Crew Module/Separation Ring Structures and Ground Support Equipment, and Jose Ortiz, lead systems engineer Orion Launch Abort System. The panel will be moderated by Deborah Tomek, deputy director of Langley’s Space Technology and Exploration Directorate.

Media should contact Kristyn Damadeo at 757-864-1090 or for access to Langley.

On Tuesday, July 2, a 22,000-pound test version of the Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida on a rocket provided by Northrop Grumman. Lift-off is scheduled to take place between 7-11a.m. EDT and will be broadcasted live on NASA TV starting at 6:45 a.m.

During the three-minute test, the spacecraft, with a fully functional launch abort system, will climb to an altitude of about six miles, traveling at more than 1,000 miles per hour. At that point, the system’s powerful abort motor will fire, pulling Orion away from the booster.

Designing a system for human spaceflight means ensuring there are features in place that protect the astronauts aboard. Data gathered from this test will be used to validate and improve computer models of the spacecraft launch abort system’s performance and functions.

NASA is working to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Space Launch System rocket and Gateway in orbit around the Moon. Orion will sustain astronauts in deep space, provide emergency abort capability, and support a safe re-entry from lunar return velocities. Exploring the Moon helps create a vibrant future and advance technologies, capabilities and new opportunities for future missions to Mars.

For more information about the Orion Spacecraft and Ascent Abort 2 flight test, go to:

For more information about NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration plans, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.