Testing the Orion Crew Vehicle‘s Parachutes
NASA – On April 17, 2012, NASA conducted a test of the Orion crew vehicle’s entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle’s orbital flight test, Exploration Flight Test-1. The primary objectives were to determine how the entire system would respond if one of the three main parachutes inflated too quickly and to validate the drogue parachute design by testing at a high dynamic pressure that closely mimicked the environments expected for Exploration Flight Test-1.
Orion Drop Test
A test model of the Orion spacecraft with its parachutes was tested the skies high above the U.S. Army’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. on Feb. 29, 2012. This particular drop test examined the wake — or the disturbance of the air flow behind Orion — that is caused by the spacecraft.
The Orion spacecraft will replace the space shuttle as NASA’s vehicle for human space exploration and is designed to accommodate four to six astronauts on deep space missions. It also could supplement commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station.