Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Orion Crew Capsule Splashdown
This afternoon, a full-scale mockup of NASA's Orion crew module was tested off the coast of Kennedy Space Center, FL. under simulated and real landing weather conditions. The goal of the test was to simulate the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test, or PORT, and determine what kind of motions the astronauts can expect after landing, as well as conditions outside for the recovery team.
Before they tested the capsule at Kennedy Space Center, it was tested at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in West Bethesda, MD. The Carderock facility provided a controlled environment for the crew recovery personnel to familiarize themselves with the Orion capsule before the team actually set out to test the procedures in the uncontrolled waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The purpose of these tests will aid in vehicle design at Johnson Space Center and recovery hardware design under evaluation at Kennedy Space Center. In October, NASA is planning to have another test with astronauts in the capsule.
The launch of Ares I-X from Kennedy Space Center has been scheduled for late August.