NASA – Work on the heat shield and thermal protection backshell of the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle ground test article, or GTA, was completed in preparation for environmental testing. This image is of the crew vehicle at the Lockheed Martin Vertical Test Facility in Colorado. The crew vehicle will undergo rigorous testing to confirm its ability to safely fly astronauts through all the harsh environments of deep space exploration missions.
Preparing for the Future
NASA – NASA continued preparations for the future of space exploration with the installation of a 35,000-gallon liquid oxygen tank atop the A-3 Test Stand under construction at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The 300-foot tall stand is being built to test next-generation rocket engines capable of carrying humans beyond low-Earth orbit into deep space. Construction of the stand began in 2007, with completion and activation scheduled for 2013. The A-3 stand is the first large test structure built at Stennis since a trio of stands were constructed in the 1960s to test the massive Saturn V rocket stages used to carry humans to the moon during the Apollo Program.