Hardware Supports Artemis Missions and Return to The Lunar Surface

[Huntington Beach, Calif. November 15, 2022] – Karman Space & Defense (“Karman”), an integrated concept-to-production solutions provider for integrated dynamic systems, assemblies, and advanced manufacturing, is proud to be a key critical-hardware supplier for NASA’s Artemis missions. Since the program’s inception, Karman’s four divisions, AAE, AEC, AMRO, and Systima, have successfully manufactured and delivered thousands of critical components for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the only spacecraft capable of sending humans into deep space. Systima, a Division of Karman, is an energetic components and systems (ECS) supplier, providing integrated systems that utilize solid propellants and explosive to do work.

Karman Space & Defense is responsible for energetic systems on Orion, such as the hatch release mechanisms and forward bay cover (FBC) thruster, and also provides the FBC cover structure, hatch structure, and heat shield skeleton structure elements to NASA’s prime contractor Lockheed Martin who assembles the Orion spacecraft.

The hatch release mechanisms are a group of self-contained pyrotechnics devices that force the door of the Orion crew module open in the event of an emergency egress of the astronaut crew. First, a pressure cartridge initiates and fires into the Pin Puller device to retract a pin and disengage the hatch mechanical gearbox. Within milliseconds, two Pin Pushers fire and drive two latch trains into the unlatched position, allowing the counterbalance to open the door.

This emergency egress is a crucial part of safety considerations that are made for NASA spacecraft in order to prevent recurrence of accidents like the Apollo 1 tragedy, and ensure the safety and survival of our brilliant men and women who brave the journey to space. We hope that these potentially life-saving devices never have to be used in service, but we are honored to play our part in keeping our astronauts safe.

Orion Hatch Mechanism Under Test

Orion Hatch Mechanism Under Test, Source Karman Space & Defense.

Orion Launch Abort System Hatch Structure

Orion Launch Abort System Hatch Structure, Source Karman Space & Defense

Orion Hatch Test NASA Image

Orion Hatch Test (Courtesy of NASA)

About Karman Space & Defense

Karman Space & Defense is a concept-to-production solutions provider for the space and defense industry’s most complex and mission-critical systems, including crewed-space flight and hypersonic missions. Headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA, with facilities in Washington, Alabama, and Washington DC, Karman brings together industry-leading capabilities, advanced technologies, and the multi-decade history of its four business divisions, AAE Aerospace, AEC, AMRO, and Systima. For more information, visit our website Karman-SD.com.