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Media Invited to Final Orion Spacecraft Water Landing Test



Jan. 3, 2012

Michael Braukus/J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1979/5241
michael.j.braukus@xxxxxxxx / j.d.harrington@xxxxxxxx 

Amy Johnson
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
757-864-7022/272-9859 (mobile)
amy.johnson@xxxxxxxx 

Josh Byerly
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
josh.byerly@xxxxxxxx 

MEDIA ADVISORY: M12-002

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@xxxxxxxx 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:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/exploration/hib.html

For more information about Orion, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion

	
-end-



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