Orion spacecraft being prepared for a mission to the Moon is caught on photo

NASA has published an image taken in the final assembly and systems test chamber. The Orion spacecraft can be seen on it.

Orion spacecraft in the test chamber. Source: NASA/Radislav Sinyak

The Orion spacecraft captured in the image is for the Artemis II mission. In the course of it, three NASA astronauts and one Canadian Space Agency astronaut will become the first humans to leave the vicinity of our planet since 1972. They will fly around the Moon on a free return trajectory and then return to Earth.

At the moment, the Artemis II flight is scheduled for September 2025. And NASA is actively preparing for it. While one group of engineers is preparing the SLS super-heavy rocket, another is engaged in testing the Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft was recently removed from the final assembly and systems testing chamber. There, it underwent a series of tests that included an end-to-end performance check of its subsystems and a check for leaks in the propulsion systems.

A 30-ton crane then moved the Orion to another test chamber for electromagnetic tests. In their course, the spacecraft’s electronics were subjected to various external influences in order to check whether they would interfere with the correct operation of the equipment. Engineers also made sure that the systems of the spacecraft did not interfere with each other.

Next in line are the vacuum tests. Engineers will pump air out of the chamber to see how the spacecraft will behave in near-space conditions. The data from these tests will be used to prepare Orion for its upcoming flight.

Earlier we told you about problems with Orion’s heat shield, revealed after its unmanned mission to the Moon.

According to NASA