HAMPTON, Va. – At the Naval Station Norfolk near NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, the Orion boilerplate test article and support equipment for a stationary recovery test are secured on a U.S. Navy ship. NASA and the U.S. Navy are conducting tests to prepare for recovery of the Orion crew module and forward bay cover on its return from a deep space mission. The stationary recovery test will allow the teams to demonstrate and evaluate the recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel in a controlled environment before conducting a second recovery test next year in open waters.
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 test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a Delta IV rocket and in 2017 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis