A forklift is used to carry ground support equipment into the well deck of the USS Anchorage at Naval Base San Diego in California. The equipment will be used during recovery of the Orion crew module after its first flight test. Before launch of Orion on a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, NASA, Lockheed Martin and U.S. Navy personnel will head out to sea in the USS Anchorage and the USNS Salvor, a salvage ship, and wait for splashdown of the Orion crew module in the Pacific Ocean.
The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program will lead the recovery efforts. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted flight test of Orion is scheduled to launch in December atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis