Artemis I: Our Part
For over a decade, Martinez & Turek, Inc. has helped design and build parts for the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System that will be launched as part of the Artemis 1 mission. Lockheed Martin awarded one of these jobs to Martinez & Turek, Inc. The job was a design and build project for the Orion spacecraft. It was for a fixture that would be used to hold and build the Orion spacecraft’s heat shield. A component of the spacecraft that is vital to its success.
With the successful launch of the Artemis I rocket, the Orion spacecraft will undergo its initial flight tests over the next month. The unmanned spacecraft will travel over 1.3 million miles on its journey around the moon and back to Earth.
One of the main things that will be tested on the mission will be the heat shield. After it orbits the moon and is heading home, the spacecraft will be traveling at speeds over 26,000 mph and undergoing temperatures up to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat shield will allow the Orion to survive these conditions.
The heat shield is one of a kind, built larger and more durable than any of its predecessors. It was built with extreme temperatures and conditions in mind so the spacecraft could survive its journey and make it back in one piece.
The first mission of the spacecraft will provide pivotal data on the shield. If successful, the heat shield will protect astronauts in the Orion on future missions. The currently planned missions would bring humankind back to the moon and potentially even farther. It might seem small, but the work done here at M&T helped build the Orion heat shield and many other parts of the Artemis I program. These parts will play crucial roles in humankind’s journey back into deep space. As we always do, but especially now, we should feel proud of our work and its impact.