UM flag to fly in Orion Space Capsule

Submitted by DualThreat on November 19th, 2014 at 12:27 AM

U of M (still) owns Space.

For those unaware, December 4 next month will be the first ever launch of the Orion Crew Capsule.   Orion, similar in shape to the old Apollo capsule, will be the spacecraft of the future to ferry astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. 

This test flight coming up will be unmanned with the capsule on top of a Delta IV heavy rocket (the temporary launch vehicle until the SLS rocket is complete) but here's the cool part:  The capsule was designed by Lockheed Martin and a good number of the Lockheed engineers who designed it were Michigan grads.  I found out today that these Michigan grads are placing a UM flag in the capsule.  No other college flags are going and the only other flag onboard at all will be the United States flag.




November 19th, 2014 at 12:45 AM ^

Let's find intelligent life out there. Let's teach them football, kick their asses, feel good about ourselves and then have those aliens bury our program 31-0 100 years later.

2014 is a science fiction movie.


November 19th, 2014 at 1:29 AM ^

Apollo 15 astronauts (of interest since all had Michigan degrees) got in a bit of hot water for carrying commemorative postage-stamps into space without authorization, with plans to sell them on their return.   (Glad it wasn't signed footballs - imagine the scandal for 3rd year coach Bo Schembechler)

They were the first to deliver this and drive it on the moon. 



The feat was nearly replicated years later without a rocket in a private endeavor conducted by the Michigan State engineering program.  However, the seating mysteriously burst into flames and fell back to earth.  This event is commemorated annually in East Lansing.



November 19th, 2014 at 10:30 AM ^

The third is missing the important cultural Sparty Ring of Devotion ceremony (as the photo was clearly taken after the ceremony had concluded).

The innermost ring is comprised of shirtless males each bearing two 22 ounce aluminum vessels of Naturlus Sicklitus and doing a sort of flailing hopping dance with females who drink from plastic pint vessels of Arrowton Vomiten Peachen Schnappitulus .  The females generally wear their sweaters inside out in a demostration of Redressus Posta Shamus

The middle ring is made up of a squad from the E. Lansing Constabulary (a member visible in the photo) bearing tribal shields and swinging the traditional Nightstickus Headcrackus and engaging in mace sprayus painus uponus.  The police layer threaten loudly the inner ring while dodging glass projectiles lobbed from outside the ceremonial boundaries.  They attempt to drive a wedge through the inner ring to provide access for the 3rd ring ...  

Through use of modern helmets and supplied oxygen, E. Lansing Firefighters are mostly protected from the incoming glass and the traditional, but dangerous incense of foam fume and mace sprayus uponus.  They enter through the opening and pierce the inner ring wielding the ancient Hozenozzle Couch Quencheth (as actually captured in the photo!).  Using this device, the firefighters are generally able to dampen the flames, effectively ending the ceremony. 

Note: while the inner ring generally participate in only a single ceremony during the evening, rings two and three are more motiviated, and often migrate across campus to attend several Devotion events as they spontaneously erupt throughout the night.


November 19th, 2014 at 8:04 AM ^

It's stuff like this that, despite all the smoke surrounding the program, make me proud as hell in my university. There is none other like it in the world (or space).


Go Blue.


November 19th, 2014 at 8:35 AM ^

With all the problems the football program has had it's easy to transfer that into some bizarre, dismal reality that the whole university has taken a step back. Today I called in sick, kinda wishing I could replace my head and neck with something that didn't hurt or feel muddled. Pleading with myself to feel better, I decided to log on and see what was going on.

Thanks for posting, I feel better :)


In three, two, one...


November 19th, 2014 at 9:31 AM ^

I feel strongly that we should continue to aggressively explore space.  I just think it should all be unmanned at this point due to bang for buck issues.  Regardless, what M has contibuted to space exploration has been unbelievable.


November 19th, 2014 at 9:58 AM ^

So it was my idea over a year ago to commemorate the Aerospace Department's 100th Anniversary.  The launch was originally suppose to coincide with the Anniversary celebration on Sept 18th.  I work on Orion at Lockheed Martin doing the launch vehicle integration.  I have found that over 72 Alumni either currently work or have worked this program in some fashion.   So they've all been included in the final product.

There is over 150 lbs of trinkets on board the spacecraft, but this is the only University flag flying.


November 19th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

Having you guys unveil the flag and show the clip with all of the M Aero contributors was such a great moment. People on the Blog should know that our University's grads are key players in almost all of the space programs going on now, government and private sector (the kid from SpaceX was a kick). Can't wait to follow your test flight...I remember my first one well (STS 1). Best of luck to the team (the flight team, in this context).

SG (AeroEng '80)


November 19th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

Top picture is the flag itself that will fly aboard Orion's Exploration Test Flight #1.

The bottom picture is what the final display will look like inside a shadow box that being made in Ann Arbor.  This display will be hung in the atrium of FXB some time in February most likely.