Rayotek Scientific, a glass products manufacturing company based in Sorrento Valley, is behind all of Orion’s 11 windows. The company has been working with NASA since 2012.
“This is very exciting for the company, everyone actually had a part of it at some point or another,” Rayotek’s Engineering Project Manager Jessica Thun said.
After years of testing and work, the Rayotek team joined millions of eager spectators as the newest NASA spacecraft launched to a height of 3,600 miles above earth Friday.
Several tests were done to make sure the windows were ready for takeoff, including polishing and coating. The windows must withstand intense heat, debris and meteorites.
The team also conducted several pressure tests to make sure the windows were strong and accurate.
“We were all on the edge of our seat hoping that the windows are all structurally sound and I’m sure they are,” Thun said. “The engineering team did a fantastic job to make sure it would be successful.”
The group watched live footage of the Orion landing in the Pacific Ocean around 8:30 a.m. Friday while their CEO and CFO were at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Thun says a lot of heart and soul was put into this project.
“Everyone actually had a part of it at some point or another,” said. “Our engineering team is fantastic and accomplished something –a lot of which has never been done before with these windows.”
Rayotek says it feels great to see their work finally come to fruition and see a successful launch and recovery.
America’s Finest City was also involved in the recovery portion of the launch in that San Diego-based USS Anchorage led the way.
The Anchorage began the four-and-a-half-hour recovery process Friday, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Chelsea Irish said. The spacecraft will be brought back to Naval Base San Diego before it’s sent to a NASA location.
Irish says six Navy units are participating in the recovery. She adds an amphibious ship like USS Anchorage was picked for a number of reasons.
Amphibious ships have a well deck, strong radar to track the capsule and small boats to guide the recovery process.