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Orion Heat Shield on Display
Credit: Imelda B. Joson and Edwin L. Aguirre
The heat shield for NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, shown here partly wrapped and mounted on its side, is being coated with a layer of thermal protection material at the Textron Defense Systems plant in Wilmington, Mass. It is the world’s largest heat shield, measuring 16.4 feet in diameter. Textron’s specially formulated ablative material, called Avcoat, is designed to protect the spacecraft and its crew from extreme temperatures during re-entry.