Lockheed Martin has teamed up with NASA to begin construction work on the components of an Orion spacecraft that is expected to take off by 2022 to perform the crewed Exploration Mission-2, NASASpaceFlight reported Monday.
Four astronauts aboard the Lockheed-built Orion will perform a lunar flyby as part of the EM-2 test flight.
Lockheed has started building the EM-2 spacecraft’s crew module and module adapter as it performs final assembly work on the first space vehicle for the unmanned EM-1 mission, which is expected to launch by the end of 2020.
After the structural assembly, the team will weld and integrate fluid systems into the module, conduct proof tests and install the core avionics and electrical systems to carry out the crew module’s initial power-on.
The Orion spacecraft for the EM-2 mission will feature an Environmental Control and Life Support System; a waste management system; and platforms for fire detection and suppression, air revitalization and temperature and cabin pressure management.
The company recently completed the proof pressure test on the EM-2 crew module at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after it installed additional hardware for the primary structure.