The USNS Salvor, a safeguard-class rescue and salvage ship, is docked at Naval Base San Diego in California. The ship will head out to sea along with the USS Anchorage ahead of Orion's first flight test. NASA and U.S. Navy personnel are making preparations ahead of Orion's flight test for recovery of the crew module, forward bay cover and parachutes on its return from space and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. If needed, the Salvor would be used for an alternate recovery method. Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is leading the recovery efforts.
The first unpiloted flight test of Orion is scheduled to launch this week atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. During its two-orbit, 4.5-hour flight, Orion will venture 3,600 miles in altitude and travel nearly 60,000 miles before returning to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston