NASA’s Orion Aces Final Parachute Test Ahead of Moon Mission
Washington: NASA has successfully completed the final test to qualify Orion’s space capsule’s parachute system for flights with astronauts, ahead of its mission to send humans to the Moon and beyond, the US space agency said. Engineers evaluated the performance of Orion’s parachute system during normal landing sequences as well as several failure scenarios and a variety of potential aerodynamic conditions to ensure astronauts can return safely from deep space missions, over the course of eight tests at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
During the final test, which took place on September 12, a mock Orion was pulled out from the cargo bay of a C-17 aircraft flying higher than 6.5 miles. Orion will first fly with astronauts aboard during Exploration Mission-2, a mission that will venture near the Moon and farther from Earth than ever before, launching atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket — which will be the world’s most powerful rocket. The parachutes for Orion’s upcoming uncrewed flight test — Exploration Mission-1 — are already installed on the vehicle at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. (IANS)