On July 7, Chuck Murray, Senior Technical Editor for Design News and myself, Steve Taranovich, Editor-in-chief, Planet Analog visited the behind-the-scenes operations of the Orion program at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Orion, a new spacecraft that will carry man into a new era of space exploration. Orion will carry us farther in space than we have ever gone before. See my EDN article on Orion from late last year for an extensive overview of the systems of this amazing spacecraft. The articles to come from our trip will be a follow on to that article.
In the coming weeks you can expect an exciting group of technical articles on Orion from Chuck at Design News and myself on Planet Analog and EDN. Keep an eye out on all three sites as well as on EETimes which may carry some of these articles as well.
The following slideshow will give a brief outline of what we experienced at NASA and a bit about what our coming articles and blogs will address in great detail. The articles will be about the exceptionally talented NASA people working within the Orion program within a tight budget, but firmly dedicated to the safety of the astronaut space explorers on board. Using their creativity and clever ideas, these men and women have managed to work technological feats that will make this program capture the imagination of the world just as the 60s quest to land a man on the moon did.
A mock-up of what will be in front of the astronauts with the “glass cockpit” and “edge keys” on the perimeter of each of three screens. The Space Shuttle has close to 2,000 switches and buttons and 10 panels where the Orion has just 60 manual buttons and only three screens in front of the astronauts (screens are split with an upper and lower display). The ePROC or Electronic Procedure system was designed as an alternative to reduce crew workload.
Click here to see the next photo, on EBNs sister publication, Planet Analog.