Testing Orion space capsule

December 14, 2011, JPL/NASA

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: Image: Orion drop test at Langley

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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.
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.
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.
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.
2 / 5 (4) Dec 15, 2011
It's a metal turd, they just proved it floats.
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.

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