A view from above shows the abort motor for Orion’s Launch Abort System (LAS) secured on a work stand inside the Launch Abort System Facility on Aug. 28, 2018, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
This motor will be used for flight during a full-stress test of the LAS, called Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test, scheduled for April 2019. The abort motor is what will activate to pull the Orion crew module away during the event of an emergency during ascent. AA-2 will launch from SLC 46, carrying a fully functional LAS and a 22,000-pound Orion test vehicle to an altitude of 31,000 feet and traveling at more than 1,000 miles an hour.

The test will verify the LAS can steer the crew module and astronauts aboard to safety in the event of an issue with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket when the spacecraft is under the highest aerodynamic loads it will experience during a rapid climb into space. NASA’s Orion and Exploration Ground Systems programs and contractors from Jacob’s and Northrup Grumman in conjunction with the Air Force Space and Missile Center’s Launch Operations branch are performing flight operations for AA-2.

KSC-20180828-PH_KLS01 _0022 Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett Larger image