ACB 1 Helps NASA Lift Off

By MC3 Eric Chan, ACB 1

ACB 1 helps NASA lift off

Seabees attached to ACB 1 use an 11k forklift to move the Orion Boilerplate Test Article (BTA) into position by a crane for disassembly at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., April 14. NASA is currently preparing for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first manned space flight to Mars slated for 2018. Photo by MC3 Eric Chan

Seabees attached to Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1, finished helping NASA with moving and dissembling the Orion Boilerplate Test Article (BTA) for scheduled maintenance on Naval Base San Diego, Calif., April 16. NASA is currently preparing for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) the first manned space flight to Mars slated for 2018.

The BTA is a life-size test version of the Orion space capsule designed for testing watertight integrity and recovery operations.

“ACB 1 is supporting NASA, as well as other NASA contractors, by helping with the preventive maintenance on the training gear that they use,” said Chief Equipment Operator Jered Robbins, assistant ACB 1 operations chief.

ACB 1 sent its crane crew to help move and disassemble the Orion BTA for maintenance, testing and evaluation of future modifications.

ACB 1 helps NASA lift off

Seabees attached to ACB 1 use an 11k forklift to move the Orion Boilerplate Test Article (BTA) from its storage unit on Naval Base San Diego, Calif., April 14. 

The BTA is shaped exactly like the capsule sent into space in December 2014, which ACB 1 helped lift and move from the USS Anchorage (LPD 23), which has a similar weight and balance.

“ACB 1 is vital to the mission,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Jon’ta Paten, liaison between Department of Defense and NASA attached to Human Space Flight Support, Detachment 3. “Without ACB 1 we wouldn’t be able to move the test article, as well as the Orion Capsule, from the LPD ships over to our staging areas.

“These are the most professional guys I’ve seen and they are experts at what they do,” said Paten. “This mission would not happen without the support of ACB 1.”

ACB 1 helps Nasa lift off

ACB 1 Seabees use an 11k forklift to move the Orion Boilerplate Test Article (BTA) into position for disassembly on Naval Base San Diego, Calif., April 14.

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Photos courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum and Vince Kontny

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