Altitude Chamber Gets Upgrade for Artemis II, Spacecraft Testing Begins  | Space

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Before the Orion spacecraft is stacked atop NASA’s powerful SLS (Space Launch System) rocket ahead of the Artemis II mission, engineers will put it through a series of rigorous tests to ensure it is ready for lunar flight. In preparation for testing, teams at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida have made significant upgrades to the altitude chamber where testing will occur.

Several of the tests take place inside one of two altitude chambers in the high bay of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at Kennedy. These tests, which began on April 10, include checking out electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility, which demonstrate the capability of the spacecraft when subjected to internally and externally generated electromagnetic energy and verify that all systems perform as they would during the mission.

To prepare for the tests, the west altitude chamber was upgraded to test the spacecraft in a vacuum environment that simulates an altitude of up to 250,000 feet. These upgrades re-activated altitude chamber testing capabilities for the Orion spacecraft at Kennedy. Previous vacuum testing on the Orion spacecraft for Artemis I took place at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. Teams also installed a 30-ton crane in the O&C to lift and lower the Orion crew and service module stack into the chamber, lift and lower the chamber’s lid, and move the spacecraft across the high bay.

On Thursday, April 4, teams loaded the Artemis II spacecraft into the altitude chamber. This event marks the first time, since the Apollo testing, that a spacecraft designed for human…


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