Testing Orion space capsule

December 14, 2011
Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

(PhysOrg.com) -- Testing continues at NASA Langley Research Center as the 18,000-pound (8,165 kg) Orion test article took its eight and final splash of the year into the Hydro Impact Basin on Dec. 13. Orion, the next deep space exploration vehicle, will carry astronauts into space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel, and ensure safe re-entry and landing.

The testing, which began in this summer, simulates different water landing scenarios and takes into account different velocities, parachute deployments, entry angles, and that Orion may face when landing in the Pacific Ocean. The Dec. 13 test simulated all parachutes being deployed with a nominal re-entry angle into steady seas. The capsule was at a 28 degree angle and traveled 20 mph (32.2 kph) before splashing into the basin.

This test series also takes into account conditions that may result in the capsule landing in an inverted position, which tends to occur more frequently with the higher horizontal velocities and impact angles. As was the case with the Apollo vehicle, the Orion flight design will feature an onboard uprighting system to restore the vehicle to an upright orientation prior to recovery.

Orion remained upright upon landing into the basin.

Explore further: NASA Glenn to Test Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

Related Stories

NASA Glenn to Test Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

March 19, 2007

NASA's Glenn Research Center will conduct integrated environmental testing of the Orion crew exploration vehicle in the Space Power Facility at the center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

NASA, ATK Successfully Test First Orion Launch Abort Motor

November 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Flames shot more than 100 feet high in a successful 5.5-second ground test firing Thursday, Nov. 20, of a launch abort motor for NASA's next generation spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle. NASA ...

Orion spaceship set for new tests in Colorado

August 12, 2011

(AP) -- A spaceship that could carry the next wave of astronauts to an asteroid or beyond is being prepared for a new round of tests at a Lockheed Martin facility near Denver.

NASA completes Orion spacecraft parachute testing in Arizona

September 23, 2011

NASA this week completed the first in a series of flight-like parachute tests for the agency's Orion spacecraft. The drop tests at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona support the design and development of the ...

NASA plans 2014 test-flight of deep-space capsule

November 8, 2011

NASA said Tuesday it will launch in 2014 an unmanned test flight of its Orion deep space capsule, made by Lockheed Martin to someday carry astronauts to the moon, an asteroid or Mars.

Image: Orion drop test at Langley

November 10, 2011

Engineers at NASA Langley conducted the third drop test of the Orion test article as part of Phase 1 water impact testing on Nov. 8.

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

6 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dschlink
4 / 5 (8) Dec 14, 2011
Consider, the Orion development started in 2005 and still hasn't flown. In less time, for a tenth as much money, SpaceX has built two new rockets, developed the Dragon and orbited it.
eachus
4 / 5 (8) Dec 14, 2011
Consider, the Orion development started in 2005 and still hasn't flown. In less time, for a tenth as much money, SpaceX has built two new rockets, developed the Dragon and orbited it.


Worse, the Orion capsule reuses a lot of the Apollo Command Module design, so these particular tests were just CYA repeats of tests done decades ago.
KBK
1 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2011
It is obvious by now to any outside observer that the whole NASA scenario is a literal yanking of everyone's chain.

A softcore space exploration handjob of a non reality, perpetrated on a poorly informed public, as a cover story for the hidden programs which were military and corporate driven.

NASA is a multi-billion dollar version of a rubber inflated tank in a field. It's a distraction, at best.

These are not bizarre missives... they are informed statements.

Research 'project paperclip', as an initial opener. Keep looking. The hole is very very deep.

That will open your eyes.
jmlvu
2 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2011
I think one of those capsules is at the bottom of the Indian ocean. They could have saved alot of money and just pulled it up. If I were an engineer on this project I'd be embarrased to tell my friends how I waste NASA money that could be better spent.
jmlvu
2 / 5 (4) Dec 15, 2011
It's a metal turd, they just proved it floats.
FrankHerbert
2.1 / 5 (10) Dec 15, 2011
And here come the Physorg rocket "scientists". Let me know when the private sector makes it out of Earth orbit, morons.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.