Pad Abort 1 (Orion)

Pad Abort 1

Launch of the Pad Abort 1 test
Mission type Abort test
Operator NASA
Mission duration 95 seconds
Distance travelled 2.1 kilometres (6,900 ft)
Apogee 1.8 kilometres (6,000 ft)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Orion boilerplate
Start of mission
Launch date May 6, 2010, 13:03:00 (2010-05-06UTC13:03Z) UTC
Rocket Orion Launch Abort System
Launch site White Sands LC-32E[1]
End of mission
Landing date May 6, 2010, 13:04:35 (2010-05-06UTC13:04:36Z) UTC

Pad Abort 1 (PA-1) was a flight test of the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS). Orion was a component of Constellation, a human spaceflight project within NASA, the space agency of the United States. PA-1 was the first test in a sequence of atmospheric flight tests known as Orion Abort Flight Test (AFT).

PA-1 tested the basic functionality of the launch abort concept from the pad in its preliminary Orion design configuration. It used the former conformal shape of the LAS adapter. The Flight Test Article (FTA) vehicle will differ from production Orion vehicles in a number of ways. For example, the FTA will not have a crew on board, and the avionics will be a prototype of what is planned for production Orions.[2]

The PA-1 Test took place at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. "NASA Building Test Pad at White Sands for New Spacecraft". redOrbit. February 3, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  2. Idicula; et al. "A Flight Dynamics Perspective of the Orion Pad Abort One Flight Test" (PDF). AIAA.
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