Orion evolution – new version shows large-scale changes

by Chris Bergin

The latest version of the Orion spacecraft has been revealed in a series of new images obtained by NASASpaceFlight.com.

The Lockheed Martin Orion “606” is the newest version of the constantly evolving spacecraft that will transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) – and eventually back to the moon. The Orion 606 includes major mass saving design changes to the Orion’s Service Module.
Huge amounts of VSE related insider news and presentations – THE most comprehensive place to follow Ares/Orion development – are available for download on L2. See list at the end of this article.


**ARES V / Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) LIVE UPDATE PAGES**

Full set of hi res images and cutaways of the Orion 606 on L2. Click here for samples. These images were exclusively revealed by L2 weeks before NASA then published them publically. NOTHING on L2 is publically available when published there and 99 percent of the time that remains the case. Those claiming otherwise are obviously not members of L2.

NASASpaceFlight has exclusively obtained a fascinating new set of cutaways of the Orion 606 design iteration. They reveal significant changes made since the previous large scale change that was made during a NASA design cycle (DAC). That design cut the Service Module (SM) in half, while changing the configuration of the SM thrusters.

Other changes that have been made during the evolution of Orion included the deleting of some of the Command Module (CM) thrusters, moving the CM hatch, increasing the size of the Launch Abort System (LAS) tower, and redesigning the LAS thrusters.

The new 606 design retains the larger LAS tower while again redesigning the SM. The CEV now features a new ‘Encapsulated’ SM design (ESM), which has an even smaller cross-section than the previous designs and directly ‘encapsulates’ the ESM tanks.

Instead of the common SM structure from the past designs, the ESM now features a narrower black encapsulating cross-section. While saving weight, the change also aids the reduction of aerodynamic loading on the radiators.

An umbilical extension for the CM/ESM interface very similar to that used for Apollo can also be seen. Another change observed is the number of thrusters in each Reaction Control System (RCS) unit, which have been reduced from four to three.

The ESM features two ten-piece roughly circular solar panels for power generation – panels that are similar to the ones on the Mars Phoenix spacecraft – an antenna, and a set of RCS units for translation with three thrusters on both top and bottom.

New detailed cutaway drawings of the CM are also included. These drawings show the CM consumables stored in a ring around the bottom of the capsule, and the packing of the parachute above the pressurized volume of the spacecraft. The CM sports a large 6-seat interior and a docking tunnel through the nose.

Although this CM is reduced in size by .5 m from the original ESAS design, even this 6-man configuration appears fairly spacious. Air bags are also added to the CM in the new design.

The interior consumables ring appears to be divided into smaller bays around the periphery of the capsule; the propellant tanks for the CM thrusters appear to be located in separate bays from the life support consumables.

Selection of L2 Resources For Ares I, V and Constellation: Hi res Launch Abort Images. Hi res Pad Abort images. Orion Seat test photos. New Ares V graphic and baseline data. Large collection of hi res Orion paracute drop tests. SIX Part Series of Ares I Upper Stage Graphical Overviews. DAC-1C DDD Vast Slides on Vehicle Design. ATK First Stage Presentation. 39B Lightning Towers Slides. DAC-1C Departure points to DAC-2 Upper Stage Graphcs (Many Changes).

Orion/CEV Display Layout Presentation (40 pages) – Feb 5. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV – Feb 2. Weather Shield (Rain Shield) for Orion on the pad – Feb 1. New Super hi-res images of Ares I – Feb 1. ATK Cutaway graphics of Ares I – perspective and axonometric – Feb 1. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. CEV Paracute Assembly System (CPAS) Presentation.

Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) overview presentation – Jan 16. Major changes to Ares I Upper Stage – expansive details and data. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. Saturn Twang Test Video for use with Ares I-1R. CLV Umbilical Trade Matrix XLS.

Vehicle interfaces for the DAC 1C version of Orion Ares – Jan 3. Ares I-1R Test Flight Plan (full outline) Presentation. Ares I-1 timeline and modification expanded info. Ares I troubleshooting latest. Ares I Reference Trajectory. Boeing’s STS to Ares – Lessons Learned Presentation. Latest Ares I and Ares V baseline Configuration image and data. CLV DAC-1C (Changes to CLV Upper Stage).

Ares I-1: Four Seg+Dummy ‘Tuna Can’ stage. Ascent Developmental Flight Test Presentation. CLV Pad 39B Handover Info and Latest. New images of CLV on top of new MLP and LUT. Lockheed Martin CEV/Orion Updates. Constellation news updates. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV.

90 Minute Video of Constellation all hands meeting. CLV TIM Meeting Information. CLV/CaLV Infrastructure, Timelines and Information. Escape System Trade Study Presentation.

CEV-CLV Design Analysis Cycle Review (DAC-2) Presentation. Constellation SRR updates. CLV Stick – Troubleshooting/Alternatives/Updates. New CEV Images (include abort mode). Flight Design and Dynamics Division CEV update. CLV Mono-propellant RCS system. CEV pressurisation system review. CLV/CEV Configuration Images. The 2×3 Seg SRB Crew Launch Vehicle Option Presentation…plus more.

**NASASpaceflight.com Job Opportunities** 

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