August 10, 2009

Public to view NASA’s Orion spacecraft

NASA says a full scale mock-up of its Orion crew exploration vehicle is being moved from Florida to Texas and will make several stops for public viewing.

The mock-up, which is used in tests to study the environment for astronauts and recovery crews after an ocean splashdown, stopped Monday at the Challenger Center in Tallahassee, Fla. Other stops this week are planned at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CDT; The StenniSphere at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CDT; the Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Miss., Thursday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT; and at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Friday through Monday beginning each day at approximately 9 a.m. CDT.

The first round of Post-landing Orion Recovery Tests occurred in March in a controlled water environment at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, Md., NASA said, with additional testing occurring in April near the Kennedy Space Center in rougher, uncontrolled Atlantic Ocean waters. The next testing phase will be conducted at Johnson with seats, restraints and other items that might affect how crews get in and out of Orion.