Following the successful ground test of the launch abort motor (LAM) for NASA's Orion spacecraft's Launch Abort System (LAS) by Orbital ATK, NASA and Lockheed Martin, team members from Orbital ATK's Propulsion System Division were recognized in an all-hands presentation Thursday, June 15.

Special guests included Bill Hill, Assistant Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters; Charlie Lundquist, Orion Deputy Program Manager; Rex Walheim, NASA Astronaut; Robert Decoursey, LAS Manager at NASA Langley Research Center; Mike Hawes, Orion Program Manager from Lockheed Martin; and Steve Sara, Program Director for the LAM at Orbital ATK.

LAM Award 2

Orion Program Manager Commendations were presented to dedicated Propulsion Systems launch abort motor team members (top row, left to right: Charlie Lundquist (NASA), Lori Palmer, Erica Sandoval, Pamela Petranovich, and Bruce Wilson; bottom row, left to right: Bill Hill (NASA), Corbin Mander, Jeffrey Shepherd, Adam Lyons, Jordan Anderson, Eric Peterson, Rex Walheim (NASA), and Mike Hawes (Lockheed Martin). Not shown: Arleigh Neunzert and Roger Cook.

The Orion Program Manager Commendations for outstanding dedication and hard work in support of the Orion LAM development and the successful QM-1 hot fire test were presented to the following Orbital ATK employees:

  • Jordan Anderson, Project Engineer
  • Roger Cook, Chief Engineer
  • Adam Lyons, Integration Engineer
  • Corbin Mander, Manufacturing Engineer for Launch Abort System Rocket Motor Assembly
  • Arleigh Neunzert, Project Engineer
  • Lori Palmer, First Operator
  • Eric Petersen, Launch Abort System Safety and Mission Assurance Manager
  • Pamela Petranovich, Loaded Motor Value Stream Element Team Lead
  • Erica Sandoval, Rocket Motor Value Stream Element Team Lead
  • Jeffrey Shepherd, First Operator
  • Bruce Wilson, Test Value Stream Element Team Lead

Orbital ATK manufactures the LAM, which creates the necessary thrust to pull the Orion capsule away from the launch vehicle in the event of an emergency on the pad or during ascent.

For the June 15 test, the LAM was conditioned for four days in the test stand using heat and insulation panels to bring the motor temperature as high as 108° F. The motor was 100° F when fired. The objective of the hot test was to test the motor at the higher boundaries to confirm it meets upper requirement limits.

The launch abort motor for NASA's Orion spacecraft fires in its first qualification test on June 15, 2017.