NASA engineers and contractors have successfully completed the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) tower, marking a milestone that puts NASA one step closer to sending Orion 3,600 miles into space on the uncrewed Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission, scheduled to launch in September 2014. Orion is America’s next generation spacecraft that will carry astronauts to destinations beyond low Earth orbit.
The Orion Launch Abort System, or LAS, pathfinder returned home to NASA Langley in October 2010 for a short stay as it makes its way to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The hardware was built at Langley and was used in preparation for the highly successful launch abort system flight test, called Pad Abort, at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Staring at the Sun with SAGE III NASA engineer Chip Holloway waits for the sun to align with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) during a clean room "sun-look" test on March 4, 2013, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. SAGE III passed this test, successfully locking onto the sun and completing a series of measurements.