Lockheed Martin hands over the ISU flag flown on board of Orion

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is a Lockheed Martin built spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to deep space destinations such as the far side of the Moon, asteroids and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth.

The service module, provided by ESA (European Space Agency) and built by Airbus Defence and Space, is Orion’s powerhouse and will supply the spacecraft with in-space propulsion, power, air and water for crew when they are aboard.

Orion’s first test flight known as Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) launched the uncrewed spacecraft atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket on December 5, 2014. During the 4.5 hour mission, Orion orbited Earth twice and splashed down at its target in the Pacific Ocean.

Lockheed Martin kindly offered to fly one ISU flag on board the vehicle during EFT-1. Nicely framed, this one pictured was officially handed over by the Lockheed Martin Orion deputy program manager, Larry Price. Larry has been providing project management for the Orion program since its start in 2005.

Before the flown flag presentation, an in-depth explanation of the features of Orion was given to the combined MSS16 and MSS17 students, with inputs on the Chinese exploration program from ISU alumnus Gongling Sun, representing CASC, and Airbus representative Rodrigo Da Costa.

The framed flag has been placed prominently in ISU’s Pioneers Hall.

During the same test flight a number of smaller flags were flown as well, which, with the compliments of Lockheed Martin, were handed over to the French Prime Minister, the new ISU vice-chancellor Prof. Ehrenfreund and Mme Trautmann, representing the local government.

Larry Price, Lockheed Martin Orion deputy program manager stated:

“Lockheed Martin is offering this flag to ISU in appreciation of ISU’s commitment to educate and inspire the next generation of space explorers that will one day travel to Mars and beyond.”

ISU is proud to add this flag to its growing collection of space memorabilia!