The USS Anchorage has docked at Naval Base San Diego after completion of the Orion Underway Recovery Test 2 in the Pacific Ocean. Workers are offloading some of the support hardware used during the test. NASA, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy conducted the test on the Orion boilerplate test vehicle to prepare for recovery of the Orion crew module on its return from a deep space mission. The underway recovery test allowed the team to demonstrate and evaluate the recovery processes, procedures, new hardware and personnel in open waters.
The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program conducted the underway recovery test. 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/Kim Shiflett