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NASA’s Orion Test Launch and Control Center Makes Good Use of AV, Video Gear

Video switchers help oversee launch

Control center for the Delta IV rocket used during the launch (Photo: NASA)

MARIETTA, Ga. — On Dec. 5, 2014, NASA’s new Orion spacecraft successfully completed its first test flight. Recognized as the beginning of a new era of space exploration, the flight is the first in a series of launches planned to lead humans to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

DVIGear, a manufacturer of of video connectivity and control products, provided its MXP Series of digital video routing switchers as the core AV switcher for the command center overseeing the Orion capsule.

The Orion flight went without a hitch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance)

Launching the Journey to Mars

The Orion spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin, NASA’s prime contractor on the project. During the Exploration Flight Test 1, Orion reached an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, and during re-entry, Orion sped through the atmosphere at about 20,000 mph, generating temperatures greater than 4,000 degrees F. around the heat shield. The perfectly executed flight was the first step in a series of missions intended to prepare for manned missions in deep space. Along the way, the Orion team will gather data and validate designs in order to prepare for the objective of sending astronauts to Mars.

Lockheed Martin subcontracted Orion Management, LLC, to design and install the AV system for the command and control center that oversaw flight operations for this mission. Orion Management turned to DVIGear for its wide range of digital video connectivity products, including its 33 x 33 MXP Series digital matrix routing switcher. DVIGear’s equipment was used to control and distribute the video and data images required by the Test Launch and Control Center, and played a crucial role in managing the Orion spacecraft during EFT-1.

DVIGear MXP Series switchers

“I needed a solid solution for my customer,” said Dale Cicirelli, Florida Division Manager for Orion Management. “DVIGear provided equipment and support which were instrumental in designing a successful project that will lead us into the next generation of space exploration.”

“We are thrilled to have played a part in this important moment for space exploration,” said Steven Barlow, DVIGear President. “The Orion mission objectives are critical to gaining a better understanding of our world and our solar system. This project aligns perfectly with DVIGear’s dedication to the advancement and communication of knowledge. We are proud to be part of the team.”