Lockheed Martin engineers have started to analyze data recorders and heat shield samples from the Orion capsule following its unmanned test flight and at-sea recovery on Monday.
NASA and the U.S. Navy collaborated to retrieve Orion’s crew module from its landing site in the Pacific Ocean and bring the platform to a naval station in San Diego, Lockheed said Tuesday.
The capsule will be shipped by truck to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for disassembling and further system analysis.
“The 1,200 on-board sensors will provide us an ocean of information about everything from the effects of space radiation on our avionics to the environment inside the crew cabin,” said Mike Hawes, a vice president and Orion program manager at Lockheed.
Lockheed is required to submit flight data assessment results and provide recommendations to NASA as part of their Exploration Flight Test-1 contract.
The company will use the module in the agency’s upcoming Ascent Abort Test 2 and has started to build primary structures for Orion’s next flight with the Space Launch System.