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.


 
 

 

Headlines May 6, 2015

News: President nominates Gen. Joseph F. Dunford as Joint Chiefs chairman - President Obama nominated Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford May 5 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling the commander of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan “a proven leader.”   Business: U.S. Air Force says may revisit rocket plan if firms do...
 
 

News Briefs May 6, 2015

NATO to briefly move command headquarters A top NATO commander says the alliance will briefly move an allied joint force command headquarters to Romania as NATO continues to hone its ability to react to Russia’s moves in Ukraine and other security challenges. U.S Navy Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III, commander of the Allied Joint Force...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Australia accepts new Boeing CH-47F Chinook aircraft

Boeing photograph Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015. At a May 5 ceremony at Royal Australian...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

RQ-4 Global Hawk achieves milestone C

Northrop Grumman photograph A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk on a runway in Palmdale, Calif. The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude, long endurance autonomous unmanned aircraft system successfully completed Mileston...
 
 
Army photograph by Maj. Daniel Markert

‘Futurist’ predicts Far East challenges for expeditionary Army

Army photograph by Maj. Daniel Markert Soldiers will face anti-satellite operations and electronic warfare in the future, predicted Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments,...
 
 

Boeing upgrading Australian F/A-18 trainers to aid maintenance effectiveness

Boeing will update two maintenance trainers for the Royal Australian Air Force so they better support the RAAFís F/A-18F and EA-18G aircraft. Australia is the only nation other than the United States flying F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters and EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft. While it operates the two-seat F variant of the Super Hornet,...
 




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>