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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pallet almost Complete!

The progress on manufacturing the pallet continues!

Basic pallet structure complete.

Close-up of center of pallet.
The pictures that follow are details of the welds required.

Note the weld in the center, at the T-section.

This section is quite interesting:  note the plate welded at an angle (see far left of picture).

Another close-up of a weld for a T-section -- Mr. mills welding glove can be see to the far right.

Here were see a plate welded at an angle.  This was necessary to ensure that the pallet has the same exterior dimensions as the Lockheed Martin pallet in the actual flight-version of the Orion capsule.

 Observe the welding clamp in the upper right-hand side of the image.

Note this weld:  not being a welder myself, I figure it must be quite challenging to arrange the workpieces to achieve the correct shape and remain within dimensional tolerances.

This image is particularly important:  here you can see where two sections of the pallet are bolted together.  This required that the bolt holes be drilled at precise locations to coincide with matching bolt holes on an inside support piece used to connect the two sections together.

Here you can see where additional steel plate was welded into place to ensure the pallet dimensions match those of the actual flight model.

This is a computer generated solid model of the pallet -- before it was ever built.  It is fascinating to look at the actual product side-by-side with the solid model built in Solid Edge.

Another view of the pallet.

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