Orion Capsule Passes NASA Safety Milestone

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Denver-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems said July 7 that the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle successfully completed the first phase of a safety review of NASA’s human rating requirements.

The review was conducted by NASA’s Constellation Safety & Engineering Review Panel.

“Completing this significant safety review puts Orion well down the road in satisfying the requirements to minimize the nation’s gap in human space flight,” said Paul Benfield, Lockheed’s integrated reliability and safety manager for Orion.

NASA announced in February that Orion would be canceled along with the rest of the Moon-focused Constellation program, but U.S. President Barack Obama granted Orion a reprieve in April, announcing that the capsule would be repurposed to serve as a crew lifeboat for the international space station.