NASA’s next generation Orion spacecraft has begun its latest round of splash tests in preparation for the upcoming Artemis lunar mission.
Water-impact tests, which involve dropping the capsule into a large tank of water, are similar to those done several years ago, but upgraded the crew module with structural improvements based on wind tunnel tests and earlier flight data. has gone. exam.
Orion received the first of four planned dunkings on Tuesday, March 23, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, with the spacecraft dropping from a height of just 18 inches.
The splash test was successful yesterday! @NASA_Orion The crew modules are making three more large splashes in the next month in our Landing and Impact Research Facility Hydro Impact Basin.
See more details about the drop test here: https://t.co/cQw71WIZds pic.twitter.com/Si7qH9ZYje
& mdash; NASA Langley Research Center (@NASA_Langley) March 24, 2021
The space agency said on Wednesday March 24, “The tests … will simulate some landing scenarios according to real-world conditions.” Configuration of the crew module representing the final design of the spacecraft. “
The data gathered from the splashdown will give engineers a better understanding of what Orion and his crew might experience when landing in the Pacific Ocean at the end of an Artemis mission. The process is also an important part of the formal qualification program of the spacecraft to complete structural design and requirement verification prior to its first lunar mission.
The Orion is designed to carry up to six crew members and can be docked for up to 21 days and docked for up to six months.
Last week NASA conducted the first full-length hot-fire test of the main stage of its next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will take the Orion spacecraft into space.
NASA is aiming to launch its first Artemis lunar mission in November 2021. Artemis I will incorporate an unpublished fly-by of the moon to test SLS rockets and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system. Artemis II will take the same route, but with a crew that will be on the voyage.
Considering those missions as planned, Artemis III aims to place the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface, the first astronaut moon landing since 1972. NASA is targeting 2024 for the highly anticipated Artemis mission, although the dates slip well.