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Orion capsule  (Source:
The good news is that the hardware can be fixed without having to be remanufactured

According to NASA, the deep-space Orion crew capsule underwent pressure testing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida the week of November 5. After the testing, which subjected the capsule to more stress than it is expected to experience during its scheduled use, NASA found a few cracks. 

The cracks were located in three adjacent radial ribs of the aluminum bulkhead. It occurred at a pressure of 149 kilopascals. To pass the test, the Orion would have had to reach 164 kilopascals without cracking. 

The good news is that the hardware can be fixed without having to be remanufactured. However, NASA wants to figure out exactly why this happened, so it will use an electron microscope to scan the damage. 

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the maker of the Orion, and will perform the testing necessary to investigate what happened. It took about one year to build the space capsule. 

The Orion was set to launch in 2014 in a flight called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), where an unmanned Orion will launch into orbit and reenter the atmosphere at 32,000 kilometers per hour. It's unclear whether this flight will now be delayed due to the damage. 

The Orion capsule will eventually take astronauts into deep space to locations like asteroids and Mars. It will be the most advanced spacecraft ever, with the ability to provide safe re-entry from deep space, a way to sustain astronauts in space, and an emergency abort option. The Orion spacecraft was first unveiled by Lockheed Martin in early 2011.

Just this past July, NASA brought the Orion capsule to the Kennedy Space Center to begin testing. 

If all goes well with EFT-1, the Orion capsule will take astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit via the new Space Launch System (SLS)which is NASA's latest heavy lift vehicle that will also be used as the backup for international and commercial partner transportation to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Orion capsule is set to launch atop the SLS in 2017. The Orion is set to be the main mode of deep space transportation for about 30 years.

Source: MSNBC

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By RussDR on 11/28/2012 8:46:14 AM , Rating: 3
Hmmm... let's just log into an American based website to read American edited articles just to waste time trolling with asinine comments. What's that say about both your integrity and values? Not much more than your poor assumption of the "American Dream". Who is teaching all these foreigners all this misinformation about America? Poor guys... they're so afflicted that they actually feel the need to troll the internet and spew their broken English towards anything American.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/28/2012 9:20:07 AM , Rating: 5
Who is teaching all these foreigners all this misinformation about America?

Americans? :P


No seriously, you would be surprised how uninformed allot of Americans are about their own country, not that the Op is particularly legible at any rate...

By mcnabney on 11/28/2012 9:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
Those people usually don't leave our borders.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/28/2012 9:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
Which doesn't matter these days with the internet pretty much connecting everyone regardless of location.

By ClownPuncher on 11/28/2012 11:20:40 AM , Rating: 4
Seeing first hand the cultural differences is quite a bit different than reading about it on the internet.

That said, I see quite a few ignorant Europeans on the internet, too. It's just socially acceptable to show disdain for the United States in many other countries right now. No more picking on the Irish or the Poles, that's not OK.

By ianweck on 11/28/2012 11:23:23 AM , Rating: 3
I've been around the world. Each country has its share of the uninformed.

By Jeffk464 on 11/28/2012 2:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this is probably true. It just depends if the uniformed of the country are also know-it-alls.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/28/2012 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
My experience is the two typically go hand in hand regardless of geographic location.

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