Space

August 29, 2012

NASA completes maximum parachute test for Orion spacecraft

nasa-orion1

NASA successfully completed another parachute test of its Orion spacecraft high above the skies of the U.S. Yuma Army Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona Aug. 28.

The test examined the maximum pressure Orion’s parachutes might face when returning from exploration missions.

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed and carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.

During the test, a C-130 airplane dropped a dart-shaped test vehicle with a simulated Orion parachute compartment from an altitude of 25,000 feet. Orion’s drogue chutes were deployed at approximately 20,000 feet, followed by small pilot chutes, which then deployed the three main parachutes. Each of the main parachutes is 116 feet wide and weighs more than 300 pounds.

“Each one of these tests helps us verify the parachute system for Orion is safe, efficient and robust,” said Chris Johnson, a NASA project manager for Orion’s parachute assembly system.
“Today’s test demonstrated the parachutes can deploy at the maximum velocity expected when returning from deep space.”

A dart-shaped test vehicle that is used to simulate Orion’s parachute compartment descends above the skies of the U.S. Yuma Army Proving Ground in Arizona. Engineers were testing the maximum pressure Orion’s chutes might face when returning from exploration missions.

This is the latest in a series of parachute drop tests, with each one designed to test a different condition or behavior of the parachutes. Besides the dart-shaped test vehicle used to simulate the speeds at which Orion will descend, NASA also uses a test vehicle that more closely resembles the actual Orion spacecraft.

Orion will fly its first test flight, Exploration Flight Test 1, in 2014. During the test, the spacecraft will travel more than 3,600 miles into space – 15 times farther from Earth than the International Space Station – and reach speeds of more than 20,000 mph before returning to Earth. This unmanned test flight will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It is designed to test several Orion systems, including the heat shield and parachutes at speeds generated during a return from deep space.

In 2017, Orion will be launched by NASA’s Space Launch System, a heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS will enable new missions of exploration and expand human presence across the solar system.




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


 
 

 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

NASA seeks proposals for commercial Mars data relay satellites

NASA has issued a Request for Information to investigate the possibility of using commercial Mars-orbiting satellites to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to the Red Planet. We are looking to broaden participation in the exploration of Mars to include new models for government and commercial partnerships, said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASAR...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary

NASA photograph To celebrate the 15th anniversary of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, four new images of supernova remnants are being released. These spectacular cosmic vistas are the glowing debris fields that were crea...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA begins engine test project for space launch system rocket

NASA photograph RS-25 rocket engine No. 0525 is positioned onto the A-1 Test Stand at NASAís Stennis Space Center in Mississippi preparation for a series of developmental tests. Engineers have taken a crucial step in preparing...
 
 

SSL selected to study asteroid retrieval for NASA

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced July 18 that it was one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is expected to be a key part of the agency’s path to sending humans to Mars. SSL will conduct two studies;...
 
 
NASA image

NASA turns over next-gen air traffic management tool to FAA

NASA image As seen in this image, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing technology enables air traffic controllers to better manage the spacing between aircraft as they save both time and fuel and reducing emissions, flying more effi...
 




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>