Kirkland, WA, September 4, 2018 - In June 2018, Systima Technologies, Inc. (Kirkland, Washington) received a contract award from Lockheed Martin Space, near Denver, to provide pyrotechnically actuated Pin Puller and Pin Pusher mechanisms for the Orion Crew Module side hatch latching system. The side hatch is the primary port for the crew to enter and exit the Orion spacecraft. Should there be an emergency landing condition, after splashdown, the crew can release the side hatch via the pyrotechnic hatch latch release system as a contingency to ensure safe egress. The pyrotechnically actuated Pin Puller and Pusher devices are thus part of a critical safety system for Orion to ensure crew safety and mission success. The program includes development, qualification and production of side hatch latching mechanisms for NASA’s Orion spacecraft for the Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) mission. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the Orion spacecraft.
This program builds upon Systima’s product line of recovery, energetic and mechanism systems for launch vehicles and spacecraft. Systima’s most notable technology in support of the Orion program is the Forward Bay Cover (FBC) thrusters. These three propellant-actuated thrusters retain the FBC throughout the mission while being exposed to the extreme environments of deep space. Upon return of the spacecraft, after re-entry through most of the atmosphere, the thrusters jettison the FBC away from the capsule to allow for deployment of Orion’s parachutes and uprighting systems. Systima’s FBC thrusters are mission critical and were successfully tested on the Exploration Flight Test-1 flight in December 2014. Units for EM-1 and EM-2 missions have been delivered.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they have ever gone before. Orion will serve as the nation’s exploration spacecraft that will carry astronauts to deep space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the mission, and provide safe re-entry and landing from deep space return velocities.