. Space Travel News .

What Goes Up Must Come Down As Orion Crew Vehicle Development Continues
by Denise Lineberry for Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA (SPX) Nov 02, 2011

Oct. 27, 2011, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) water landing drop test at the Hydro Impact Basin (HIB) at NASA's Langley Research Center. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith.

NASA's Langley Research Center completed another successful test of the Orion spacecraft's landing capabilities in their Hydro Impact Basin.

While workers prepared the 18,000-pound (8,165 kg) Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to take a dive into the 115-feet-long, 90-feet-wide, 20-feet-deep water basin (35.1 x 27.4 x 6.1 meters), media sat inside a conference room overlooking the action.

Langley offered experts to explain the process and importance of the test.

"It was the second in a series of six that would help predict conditions for a safe water landing," said Dave Bowles, the head of Langley's Space Exploration Directorate.

Following this round of testing, a new Orion capsule will be delivered to Langley for another series of tests that will capture additional data using sensors. The new vehicle more closely resembles the capsule that will eventually carry astronauts into space.

"What goes up must come down," Bowles said to the group.

Members of the media grabbed hard hats on their way downstairs to the Gantry floor to witness the drop up close.

More questions followed for the Langley experts until all were asked to step back in preparation for the capsule to be raised into position for the drop. Reporters also wanted to know how everyone played a part.

Lynn Bowman, the manager of Orion's SPLASH project, spoke about preparation and testing. Steve Gayle, the principal investigator for Orion, talked about the architecture of the boilerplate test article (BTA).

A two-minute warning sounded as people and their cameras grew still and focused on the test capsule.

Finally, a countdown from 15 seconds led into the lowest water basin drop in this series of tests. From a 17-degree angle and a 30-degree roll, the capsule splashed into the basin with a bounce before it was caught by the basin's arresting system of foam blocks and straps.

"From that angle, the BTA responded as the analysts predicted it would," Bowman said.

After the collar ceased swinging about 20 minutes later, the capsule was retrieved from the pool by a crane, placed onto a platform and transported to a nearby building where it will remain until its next scheduled test on November 8.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

A global discussion: directions for space science research
Paris (ESA) Nov 01, 2011
Understanding osteoporosis, perfecting vaccines and developing new alloys all share one thing: they are just some of the many scientific fields that have advanced significantly through research performed in space. For more than a decade, scientific research performed on the International Space Station and other microgravity platforms has pushed the boundaries of science beyond earthly limi ... read more

Arianespace's no. 2 Soyuz begins taking shape for launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana

Vega getting ready for exploitation

MSU satellite orbits the Earth after early morning launch

NASA Launches Multi-Talented Earth-Observing Satellite

Mars Curiosity Rover Moved Space Launch Complex 41 For Nov 25 Liftoff

Volunteers emerge from 520-day 'Mars voyage' isolation

Mars Express observations temporarily suspended

Mars: How Watery a World?

Lunar Probe to search for water on Moon

Subtly Shaded Map of Moon Reveals Titanium Treasure Troves

NASA's Moon Twins Going Their Own Way

Titanium treasure found on Moon

Starlight study shows Pluto's chilly twin

New Horizons App Now Available

Dwarf planet may not be bigger than Pluto

Series of bumps sent Uranus into its sideways spin

Three New Planets and a Mystery Object Discovered Outside Our Solar System

Dwarf planet sized up accurately as it blocks light of faint star

Herschel Finds Oceans of Water in Disk of Nearby Star

UH Astronomer Finds Planet in the Process of Forming

Simulating space in Gottingen

Israel test fires rocket-propulsion system: ministry

UK space surveillance system takes birthday snap of only satellite ever launched by a UK rocket

Virgin Galactic Selects First Commercial Astronaut Pilot From Competition

China space prowess benefits world

Space now features more Chinese stars

Chinese find space docking metaphor for love

Shenzhou 1 to 8 Chinese spacecraft grow by leaps and bounds over past decade

Rare near-Earth asteroid fly-by set for Tuesday

Battered asteroid may have warm core

Asteroid Lutetia Revealed In Stunning Detail

The Lutetia asteroid - a prehistoric relic


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement