Nasa conducts new parachute test for Orion

Mar 02, 2012
A test model of the Orion spacecraft with its parachutes was tested high above the skies over Arizona on Feb. 29. This particular drop test examined the wake - or the disturbance of the air flow behind Orion - that is caused by the spacecraft. This was the latest in a series of parachute drop tests conducted by NASA at the U.S. Army’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. Photo credit: NASA

(PhysOrg.com) -- On Feb. 29, NASA successfully conducted another drop test of the Orion crew vehicle's entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle's orbital flight test in 2014. Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and ensure a safe re-entry and landing.

An Air Force C-17 plane dropped a test version of Orion from an altitude of 25,000 feet above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona. Orion's drogue chutes were deployed between 15,000 and 20,000 feet, followed by the pilot parachutes, which deployed the main landing parachutes. Orion landed on the desert floor at a speed of almost 17 mph, well below the maximum designed touchdown speed of the spacecraft.

The test examined how Orion's wake, the disturbance of the air flow behind the vehicle, would affect the performance of the . Parachutes perform optimally in smooth air that allows proper lift. A wake of choppy air can reduce parachute inflation. The test was the first to create a wake mimicking the full-size Orion vehicle and complete system.

Since 2007, the Orion program has conducted a vigorous parachute air and ground test program and provided the chutes for NASA’s successful pad abort test in 2010. All of the tests build an understanding of the chutes’ technical performance for eventual human-rated certification.

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA completes Orion spacecraft parachute testing in Arizona

Sep 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 ...

Orion drop test on Jan. 06, 2012

Jan 09, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- After six months of testing, an 18,000 pound (8,165 kg) Orion mockup took its final splash into NASA Langley Research Center's Hydro Impact Basin on Jan. 6.

Testing Orion space capsule

Dec 14, 2011

(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, ...

NASA Successfully Tests Parachute for Ares Rocket

Mar 02, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA and industry engineers successfully completed the second drop test of a drogue parachute for the Ares I rocket. The test took place Feb. 28 at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground near Yuma, Ariz.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

15 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

22 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

Dec 19, 2014

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

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.