Monday, December 5, 2011
A test version of the Orion crew capsule will take its final splash of the year Dec. 13 at the Hydro Impact Basin of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Testing began this summer to certify the Orion spacecraft for water landings. Since July, engineers have conducted six tests from different angles, heights and pitches to simulate varying sea conditions and impacts Orion could face upon landing in the Pacific Ocean. The Hydro Impact Basin is 115 feet long, 90 feet wide and 20 feet deep. (Source: NASA, 12/05/11) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans assembles the Orion crew capsule.