Friday , June 18 2021

NASA drops test spacecraft into a million-gallon pool, a major splash

A test version of the NASA Orion lunar crew capsule awaits baptism on April 6.

NASA screenshot by Amanda Kosra / CNET

NASA’s Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the moon for the first time since the Apollo era. The agency successfully Fired part of its large rocket system SLS Last March. On Tuesday, NASA dropped a test version of the Orion spacecraft into a large water pool. Very large.

After a space trip, Orion is brought to wade in the sea with the help of parachutes. To make sure it’s safe for humans, NASA collects data on its performance through a series of water droplet tests at the Langley Research Center in Virginia.

NASA television broadcast the stream of water, which yielded a satisfactory thesis. The test appeared to have gone well, with the capsule behaving as expected.

The test version of Orion weighing 14,000 pounds (6,350 kilograms) mimics the one that will fly in space for the Artemis mission in future crews. The capsule landed in a million-liter (3.8 million-liter) pool of water called the Hydro Impact Basin after being released from a height of 2 meters.

“The test data will help engineers better understand what Orion and its crew may experience when landing in the Pacific Ocean,” NASA said in a March statement.

The space agency is planning additional tests, including a drop test from a greater height and a test that would include lifting Orion into the water from an angle.

NASA has tracked an ambitious date in 2024 for the return of astronauts to the moon using the Artemis program.

Before wearing boots across the moon, NASA plans to embark on an Artemis I mission without a crew as early as this year and then on a manned Artemis II mission around the moon as early as 2022. This will be the first opportunity for humans to experience a spray in the ocean. In Orion’s capsule. .

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