Thursday, June 26, 2014

Orion chutes hit no snags

Orion test in Arizona a success. NASA photo
NASA completed the most complex and flight-like test of the parachute system for the agency's Orion spacecraft on Wednesday. A test version of Orion touched down safely in the Arizona desert after being pulled out of a C-17 aircraft, 35,000 feet above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground. It was the first time some parachutes in the system had been tested at such a high altitude. The test also marked the last time the entire parachute sequence will be tested before Orion launches into space in December on its first space flight test, EFT-1. During the flight, an uncrewed Orion launched by an Atlas V will travel 3,600 miles into space, farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has been in more than 40 years. (Source: NASA, 06/25/14) Gulf Coast note: The Orion for EFT-1 was built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans. Stennis Space Center, Miss., is testing the engines that will be used in NASA's Space Launch System that will be used for future Orion launches.