Friday, August 31, 2018

[NASA HQ News] NASA Invites Media to Witness Final Orion Parachute Test in Arizona Desert

  August 31, 2018 
NASA Invites Media to Witness Final Orion Parachute Test in Arizona Desert

The three main orange and white parachutes help a test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft safely descend to the ground in Arizona. On Sept. 12, NASA engineers will test the Orion parachute system at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Yuma for the final time to qualify them for missions with astronauts.

Credits: NASA/James Blair

NASA is inviting media to view the final test of the Orion spacecraft's parachute system on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. This test is the last in a series of eight to qualify the parachutes for crewed Orion missions to the Moon and beyond.

Media will have the opportunity to view the test at the desert drop zone and participate in on-location interviews with Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich, astronauts Randy Bresnik and Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, and key program officials. Media also will be able to take a close look at the engineering model used for the test.

U.S. media who would like to attend must contact Laura Rochon at 281-483-5111 or or by 5 p.m. EDT Sept. 5.

The Orion test capsule will be dropped from an altitude of more than six miles to verify the spacecraft's system of 11 parachutes, forward bay covers, cannon-like mortars and pyrotechnic devices successfully work in sequence to slow the capsule's descent.

To date, tests have evaluated Orion's parachute performance during normal landing sequences, as well as several failure scenarios, and a variety of potential environmental and weather conditions to ensure astronauts can return safely from deep space missions.

Orion parachute engineers also have provided considerable insight and data to NASA's Commercial Crew Program partners. NASA has improved computer modeling of how the system works in various scenarios and helped partner companies understand certain elements of parachute systems. In some cases, NASA's work has provided enough information for the partners to reduce the need for some developmental parachute tests.

The parachutes for Orion's upcoming uncrewed flight test on NASA's Space Launch System rocket, Exploration Mission-1, already are loaded into the capsule at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Find more information about Orion at:



Press Contacts

Kathryn Hambleton
Headquarters, Washington

Laura Rochon
Johnson Space Center, Houston


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