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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Orion EFT-1: Underway Recovery Test (Feb. 2014)

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Author Topic:   Orion EFT-1: Underway Recovery Test (Feb. 2014)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28919
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-13-2013 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA's Orion Spacecraft Heads Cross Country

A test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft gears up to take a long road trip. Starting from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., the mockup will take a four-week journey across the nation to Naval Base San Diego in California. There, the test article will be used to support NASA’s Underway Recovery Test in February 2014. The test will simulate the recovery of Orion during its first mission, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), scheduled for September 2014.

The uncrewed EFT-1 mission will take Orion to an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface, reentering the atmosphere at a speed of over 20,000 miles per hour before landing in the Pacific Ocean.

During the recovery test in San Diego, the spacecraft will be set adrift in open and unstable waters, providing NASA and the Navy the opportunity to recover the capsule into the well deck of the USS San Diego. While deployed, the team will seek out various sea states in which to practice the capsule recovery procedure in an effort to build their knowledge base of how the capsule recovery differs in calm and rough seas and what are the true physical limits.

NASA and the Navy practiced recovery in calm seas during a Stationary Recovery Test in August where the spacecraft was set adrift in the waters of Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and recovered into the docked well deck of the USS Arlington.

The Orion mockup will travel through Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and then reach its final destination in California.

The Orion mockup departed Langley Research Center on Dec. 11.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28919
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2014 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo release
NASA and the Navy are conducting tests to prepare for recovery of Orion after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean at the end of its first space flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, in September.

Tests with the USS San Diego off the coast of San Diego Feb. 18-21, 2014, will allow teams to demonstrate and evaluate the processes, procedures, hardware and personnel that will be needed for recovery operations.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28919
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2014 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Orion testing provides lessons and data for splashdown recovery operations

The first full joint testing between NASA and the U.S. Navy of Orion recovery procedures off the coast of California was suspended after the team experienced issues with handling lines securing a test version of Orion inside the well deck of the USS San Diego.

NASA and the Navy were conducting tests to prepare for recovery of Orion after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean at the end of its first space flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, in September. The testing was planned to allow teams to demonstrate and evaluate the processes, procedures, hardware and personnel that will be needed for recovery operations.

Above: Members of the Orion recovery team work to retrieve a test version of Orion's forward bay cover, a protective shell that fits on the crew module, from the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 19.

The lines were unable to support the tension caused by crew module motion that was driven by wave turbulence in the well deck of the ship. The team called off the week's remaining testing to allow engineers to evaluate next steps.

The challenges that arose demonstrate why it is important to subject Orion to tests in the actual environments that the spacecraft will encounter.

"Even though the testing didn't go as we had planned, we're learning lessons that will help us be better prepared to retrieve Orion after it travels more than 3,600 miles into space and comes home," said Bill Hill, assistant deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The Orion testing work we do is helping us work toward sending humans to deep space."

The testing has provided important data that is being used to improve recovery procedures and hardware ahead of Orion's first flight test this fall. Several of the test objectives were accomplished before the remaining tests were called off, including successful recoveries of the forward bay cover, parachute and demonstrations of the coordination required between the team onboard the ship and mission control in Houston.

Orion is America's new spacecraft that will take astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have an emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space. During Exploration Flight Test-1, an uncrewed spacecraft will travel 15 times farther than the International Space Station before returning to Earth at speeds as fast as 20,000 mph and temperatures above 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaluate the spacecraft's heat shield and other systems.

JBoe
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Posts: 317
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 02-22-2014 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
USS San Diego's website has listed all the units involved in the recovery test. They include:
  • Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 - air support, observation, and documentation

  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three - provided divers

  • Fleet Weather Center San Diego - monitoring sea and weather conditions

  • And of course LPD-22 (USS San Diego) sailors that operated the small boats/zodiacs and well deck operators

All times are CT (US)

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