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

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