Components made by Biddeford-based Fiber Materials Inc. were part of NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System that was labeled a success by officials during the May 6 test launch in New Mexico.

It’s the first American-designed abort system since the Apollo program.

“FMI’s technical and management personnel devoted themselves to development of this ceramic matrix composite over the course of 10 years,” said Spencer Tolis, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

The FMI material was used in the attitude control motor, developed by Alliant Techsystems. The vehicle was designed by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Orion is part of NASA’s Constellation program and was developed as a space shuttle replacement to transport astronauts into space.

The heat shield of the Stardust Space Capsule was manufactured by FMI. The capsule is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

FMI employs 181 people at its Biddeford headquarters and locations in Presque Isle and Ohio.


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