The Lockheed Martin-built Orion Crew Module descends to the Pacific Ocean under its three main parachutes as part of the NASA’s Orion Program tests.
The Orion spacecraft gently splashed down into the waters of the Pacific Ocean on Friday, December 5, completing the first test flight of NASA’s deep space exploration capsule.
After a successful launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Orion orbited the Earth twice, reaching speeds of 20,000 miles per hour and traveling through belts of intense radiation before enduring a fiery, 4,000 degree F re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
After it landed into the Pacific Ocean, the US Navy Divers assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 and Fleet Combat Camera Pacific attached a “horse collar” towing device to the NASA Orion Crew Module and brought it to the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) which is supporting the first exploration test flight for the NASA Orion program. EFT-1 is the fifth at sea testing of the Orion Crew Module using a Navy well deck recovery method.
Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and Orion program manager, said:
Orion is going to push the boundaries of scientific discovery, and for the men and women of Lockheed Martin who have worked tirelessly for the last six years to make this test possible, it’s an honor to be a part of this moment in history.
Press release, Image: US Navy