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Julie Kramer White: NASA Leverages Apollo Program to Build Orion Capsule

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Julie Kramer White, deputy director of engineering at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, has discussed how her team helped develop the Orion space capsule based on the Apollo program and cited the physical similarities between the two spacecraft, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

“The airframe is fundamentally aluminum, in this case, which is similar to what Apollo was, but the manufacturing techniques are totally different,” she said of Orion.

White noted that Orion’s size is approximately 50 percent larger than that of Apollo but the crew capsule has adopted the latter’s geometric shape.

“What that did was that allowed us to, rather than starting from scratch with a different shape of vehicle, that allowed us to leverage a lot of the flight data that came out of Apollo as a starting point for being able to work Orion,” she added.

The report said NASA plans to launch Orion for its initial test flight in April.