March 4, 2009
NASA mock-up abort system starts trek
A mock-up of NASA's Orion launch abort system began a week-long U.S. trailer trip this week, en route to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Once at White Sands, the rocket-like structure will help National Aeronautics and Space Administration technicians prepare for this year's abort system test, called Pad Abort 1.
The system will provide a safe escape route for astronauts in the Orion crew capsule if there is a problem on the launch pad or during ascent into low Earth orbit atop the Ares I rocket, NASA said.
During its journey from the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., where it was constructed, the LAS pathfinder will visit museums in Nashville, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Amarillo, Texas, and Alamogordo, N.M.