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December 12, 2014

Smiths Connectors’ Solutions Play Key Role in Orion Space Mission Smiths Connectors is pleased to announce its involvement with the successful test flight of NASA’s Orion mission which likely will result in future manned flights to the moon and Mars.

Development of Orion was a complex undertaking involving a vast number of subcontractors across multiple technology disciplines. Smiths Connectors has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with NASA and its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin. Smiths Connectors was selected at the inception of the project by Lockheed Martin to provide space-grade connectors with the proven capability to perform in the harsh environment of deep space missions.

Smiths Connectors’ KA Series of PCB connectors, as well as its high-speed rugged D-Sub connector series, were deployed on-board Orion. These families of electrical connectors have an established pedigree of providing reliable, consistent signal integrity in space flight applications, and they performed as anticipated during the successful December 5 test flight of Orion launched from the Cape Canaveral, Florida US Air Force Station.

“The rigors of lift-off and space flight are quite unique. From the project’s beginning, the Orion developers had a requirement for electrical connectors with an established performance of immunity to shock and vibration, and that’s why they came to Smiths Connectors,” said Gabriel Guglielmi, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Smiths Connectors. “The Orion project has offered a host of daunting challenges, and provided an opportunity for Smiths Connectors to once again make a strong contribution to the space community. We are very proud of the role that our connectors are playing in this landmark mission.”

Smiths Connectors recently had a significant role in the ESA Rosetta Mission, which successfully landed the Philae probe on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko in November of this year.  For that application, the K and CMD/CSD Connector Series were chosen for their proven durability and reliability.  Smiths Connectors’ heritage of participation in space programs also includes products utilized on the International Space Station, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, ‘Curiosity,’ the Hubble Space Telescope and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.