NASA: Media Invited to Final Orion Spacecraft Water Landing Test


HAMPTON, Va. - Media representatives are invited to watch as the Orion
crew capsule makes its final water landing test on Thursday, Jan. 5,
at NASA's Langley Research Center's Hydro Impact Basin in Hampton, Va.

Testing began last summer to certify the Orion spacecraft for water
landings. Orion will carry astronauts into space, providing emergency
abort capability, sustaining the crew during space travel and
ensuring safe re-entry and landing.

Since July 2011, engineers have conducted eight tests at different
angles, heights and pitches to simulate varying sea conditions and
impacts that Orion could face upon landing in the Pacific Ocean.

The test will simulate deployment of all parachutes at a high impact
pitch of 43 degrees. The capsule will travel approximately 47 mph
before splashing into the basin, where it will likely flip over after
impact. While this type of landing scenario is not likely to occur
during actual vehicle operation, the test will validate models of how
the spacecraft would respond. Like the Apollo spacecraft, Orion will
have an on-board system that allows the spacecraft to up-right itself
in the ocean.

The Hydro Impact Basin is 115 feet long, 90 feet wide and 20 feet
deep. It is located at the west end of Langley's historic Landing and
Impact Research Facility, or Gantry, where Apollo astronauts trained
for moonwalks.

Journalists must arrive by 1 p.m. EDT at the NASA Langley main gate.
Due to the nature of the testing, an exact drop time cannot be given.
If the drop test date changes due to weather or technical reasons,
NASA will issue a media advisory.

To ensure access and badging, reporters must contact Amy Johnson by
phone at 757-272-9859 or by email at amy.johnson@nasa.gov by 4 p.m.
on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

For video and still imagery that documents ground breaking of the
Hydro Impact Basin through various stages of Orion testing, visit:


For more information about Orion, visit:



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