The heat shield for Nasa’s Orion spacecraft, the largest in the world, has been completed by Lockheed Martin.

The 5m shield will protect the space vehicle and its crew from the extreme temperatures during re-entry.

The high-temperature composite material system was developed over 18 months, during which coupons were tested in extreme environments that simulated a ballistic re-entry from a lunar mission.

The resin system enables simpler and more efficient manufacturing techniques compared to other high temperature resin systems.

The heat shield will be applied to the Orion ground test article, which is the first full-sized, flight-like test article for Orion.

The ground test article will serve as a production pathfinder to validate the flight vehicle production processes and tools.