NASA’s Orion gets its heat shield, at last

by | Apr 8, 2009 | Seradata News | 0 comments

NASA announced yesterday that the reformulation of the Apollo programme’s Avcoat has been selected for its Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

Flight predicted this in its 10 March article about the heat shield when an announcement was expected that month. Instead NASA announced the decision on 7 April

The decision, 14-months late, brings to an end a major question about an important mass driver for the CEV. Delayed by 10-months the Orion’s preliminary design review is now more likely to go ahead later this year – the Obama administration’s choice for NASA administrator likely to come so late that the individual concerned will not be in place to do anything to stop it

Avco, long since bought by Textron Systems, did propose its Apollo heat shield material for Shuttle but its abative technology lost out to the reusable ceramic tiles the orbiter’s use today

And in a twist to the Constellation programme story the ceramic tiles of PICA have lost out to Avcoat for Orion

NASA is offering interviews about the Avcoat selection so expect more from Flight and Hyperbola in the near future

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Musk plans a stock offering for SpaceX after successful IPOs in his other firms

Elon Musk, the billionaire Internet, clean energy and rocket entrepreneur who made his initial fortunes in the internet business, most Read more

US military once planned to explode atom bomb on Moon

There has been much tabloid interest in what is a re-release of the revelation originally made by the protect's leader Read more

Opinion: ESA has chosen badly with respect to its launch vehicle development

ESA really had three choices with respect to its launch vehicle development: it could built the Ariane 5 ME which Read more

Musk goes for methane-burning reusable rockets as step to colonise Mars

While speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in November, the billionaire former Paypal Internet executive, Tesla electric car Read more

No space predictions (or space errors) in Skyfall as James Bond serves his country well (Updated)

While the latest James Bond adventure Skyfall (Director: Sam Mendes) does use a lot of 'Big Brother' surveillance technology to Read more

History: UK gave up impressive space programme including plans to launch UK astronauts “just to get into Europe”

There will be sadness in those "space cadets" in the United Kingdom of all ages as we note that new Read more

Opinion: The madness of imprisoning earthquake scientists may halt satellite seismic forecasting research

To world scientific dismay, on 22 October, seven scientists working at the Italian National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention Read more

Budget cuts force US Air Force to throw out reusable booster baby with the bathwater

As reported by Flightglobal, the US Air Force has now its its back on liquid-fuelled flyback boosters as it shut Read more