Space

April 18, 2012

NASA continues Orion parachute testing for future test flight

NASA April 17 successfully conducted a drop test of the Orion crew vehicle’s entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle’s orbital flight test, Exploration Flight Test -1, in 2014.

Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and ensure a safe re-entry and landing.

A C-130 plane dropped a dart-shaped test vehicle with a simulated Orion parachute compartment from an altitude of 25,000 feet above the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds. Orion’s drogue chutes were deployed at 20,000 feet, followed by the pilot parachutes, which then deployed the main landing parachutes. The test vehicle landed on the desert floor at a speed of almost 25 feet per second, well below the maximum designed touchdown speed of the spacecraft.

This particular drop test had two primary objectives. The first determined how the entire system would respond if one of the three main parachutes inflated too quickly, which occurs if a reefing stage, which helps the parachutes open gradually, is skipped. The second objective was to validate the drogue parachute design by testing at a high dynamic pressure that closely mimicked the environments expected for Exploration Flight Test-1. This test flight, scheduled for 2014, is designed to test a number of Orion’s systems, including the avionics, navigation and thermal protection systems and will send Orion more than 3,000 miles into space.

Since 2007, the Orion program has conducted a vigorous parachute air and ground test program and provided the chutes for NASA’s successful pad abort test in 2010. The tests improve understanding about the chutes’ technical performance for eventual human-rated certification. The next parachute test will be conducted this summer.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 
 
NASA Earth Observatory photograph

NASA selects instruments to track climate impact on vegetation

NASA Earth Observatory photograph Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. This image of the...
 
 
ULA photograph

AF launches successful satellite mission

ULA photograph The Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space satellite, an Air Force Research Laboratory experimental satellite, and two Air Force Space Command Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Prog...
 

 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA’s Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan vists Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich Surrounded by small remotely piloted aircraft, Albion Bowers explains to Ellen Stofan how technologies are tested on small platforms prior to full scale tests. NASA’s chief scientist Ellen S...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>