Nasa’s Orion spacecraft has reached Ohio onboard a Super Guppy aircraft for testing at Glenn Test Center in Plum Brook, Sandusky, US.

The test will continue for several months inside the world’s largest Nasa-owned thermal vacuum chamber.

To be conducted in two phases, the first is a thermal test that will last for 63 days.

This phase will see Orion’s electrical systems being switched on and exposed to temperatures ranging from -115°C to 75°C to simulate the environmental conditions in space.

The second phase consists of a 14-day electromagnetic interference and compatibility test to make sure the spacecraft’s electronics operate as expected.

The test will be performed by a team of engineers and technicians from Airbus, the European Space Agency (ESA), Lockheed Martin and Nasa.

European Service Module chief engineer Matthias Gronowski said: “With the tests, we will show that the spacecraft’s systems work as planned and at the same time ensure safe operation for the astronauts on future missions – both on the ground and onboard.

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“The international team has been working towards this goal for three years now, and in recent months we have mechanically and electrically connected the Crew Module (astronaut capsule) and the European Service Module at Kennedy Space Centre. What matters now is that we can show that the service module works under the extreme conditions of space.”

Once complete, Orion will be transported back to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre for additional tests.

It will be integrated with the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for its Artemis I mission.